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Aug 14, 2009
This week's theme
Short words

This week's words
ort
fug
birl
bap
cwm

Cirque de Navacelles
Cirque de Navacelles, France
[Zwm in to see a little town at the base]
(photo: James Lofthouse)

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

cwm

PRONUNCIATION:
(koom)

MEANING:
noun: A steep bowl-shaped mountain basin, carved by glaciers. Also known as cirque.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Welsh cwm (valley).

NOTES:
The letter w works as a vowel in the Welsh language and it has given another such word (without a standard vowel aeiou, or y) to English: crwth (krooth) meaning crowd (an ancient Celtic stringed instrument).

USAGE:
"By a process of elimination, which is a ticklish phrase to use about Soviet selection methods, the hordes of trainees will be reduced to about 150 fit to carry Stalin's name over countless crevasses, through the cwms, and along the cols -- to the very ultimate peak of the ultimate mountain."
Cold War For Mount Everest?; The Sydney Morning Herald; Apr 21, 1952.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
America has been called a melting pot, but it seems better to call it a mosaic, for in it each nation, people or race which has come to its shores has been privileged to keep its individuality, contributing at the same time its share to the unified pattern of a new nation. -King Baudouin of Belgium (1930-1993)

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