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Mar 22, 2012
This week's theme
Words with multiple, unrelated meanings

This week's words
doxy
enceinte
bravo
cant
pug

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

cant

PRONUNCIATION:
(kant)

MEANING:
noun: 1. Hypocritically pious talk.
2. The private language of an underworld group.
3. Whining speech, especially of beggars.
4. A slope or tilt.
5. A motion that tilts something.
6. An outer corner.
7. A log slabbed on one or more sides.
verb tr.: To set at an oblique angle; tilt.
adj.: Oblique.

ETYMOLOGY:
For 1-3: From Latin cantus (song). Earliest documented use: variously 1640-1706.
For the rest: From Latin cantus (corner). Earliest documented use: 1542.

USAGE:
"It is such a huge relief that even Dr. Emmah Isong recognised the fact that his cant and humbug are not known to the Nigerian constitution and we will not be delayed any further by it."
Muyiwa Apara; Jonathan, Democracy, and 2011; Sunday Tribune (Nigeria); May 16, 2010.

"Once again she's the village girl who can't comprehend the cant of the black-clad men who surround that platform."
Benedict Nightingale; This is a Joan That Stirs the Soul; The Times (London, UK); Jul 12, 2007.

"Mitchell not only must follow the contours of the letter or design but also must adjust for the depth of the cut and the cant of the groove."
Art Carey; Doylestown Woman Brings Passion to Artful Engraving; The Philadelphia Inquirer; Aug 6, 2009.

See more usage examples of cant in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
A man may be very industrious, and yet not spend his time well. There is no more fatal blunderer than he who consumes the greater part of life getting his living. -Henry David Thoreau, naturalist and author (1817-1862)

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