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Feb 27, 2012
This week's theme
Words with hidden animals

This week's words
capricious
bucolic
cuckold
lyceum
jubilee

hedgehog
Do I look capricious?

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

I remember that biology class many years back. We took a few drops of water from a nearby pond and put them on a slide under a microscope. When we peeked through the eyepiece we saw all sorts of life forms -- amoeba, paramecium, and others -- floating around.

This week's words are something like that. There are animals hidden in the words. You just need to put them under the microscope of etymology to see them. Focus your eyepiece and this week you'll see hedgehog, ox, cuckoo, wolf, and ram.

capricious

PRONUNCIATION:
(kuh-PRISH-uhs, -PREE-shuhs)

MEANING:
adjective: Whimsical, impulsive, unpredictable.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Italian capriccio (caprice), literally head with hair standing on end, from capo (head) + riccio (hedgehog). Earliest documented use: 1594.

USAGE:
"Such is the peril of entrusting one's employment to the whim of a capricious oligarch."
Rory Smith; Whispers of Disapproval; The Independent (London, UK); Dec 1, 2011.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
As freely as the firmament embraces the world, / or the sun pours forth impartially his beams, / so mercy must encircle both friend and foe. -Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller, poet and dramatist (1759-1805)

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