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Apr 12, 2005
This week's theme
Words relating to religion

This week's words
pontificate
colporteur
catholicity
hagiarchy
latitudinarian

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

colporteur

Pronunciation RealAudio

colporteur (KAWL-por-tuhr) noun

A peddler of religious books.

[From French colporteur (peddler), from col (neck) + porter (to carry), from Latin portare, from the idea of a peddler carrying his wares in a bag hung around his neck. Ultimately from Indo-European root per- (to lead, pass over) that gave us other words such as support, comport, petroleum, sport, passport, Swedish fartlek (a training technique), Norwegian fjord (bay), and Sanskrit parvat (mountain).]

"By then, because a Seventh-day Adventist colporteur had come into Croscombe selling religious tracts, his parents had joined that Church, and Hardy became a keen member of it."
The Rev Bertram Hardy; The Times (London, UK); Mar 27, 2003.

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A man finds room in the few square inches of the face for the traits of all his ancestors; for the expression of all his history, and his wants. -Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher (1803-1882)

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