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A.Word.A.Day--cygnet

    What to give to the person who has everything? Give the gift of words.
Pronunciation: WAV or RealAudio

cygnet (SIG-nit) noun

A young swan.

[Middle English cignet, from Anglo-Norman, diminutive of Old French cygne, swan, from Latin cygnus, from Greek kuknos.]

"Prince Henry: I am the cygnet to this pale faint swan ...." Shakespeare, William, King John: Act V, Scene VII.

Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore once said, "Every child comes with the message that God is not yet tired of the man." I realize the profundity of those words as a two-year-old beckons me to play with her, pulling my hands away from the keyboard with the protest "No work!" Even after a day full of spilling liquids, breaking glassware, and making the house appear as if there had been an earthquake, our daughter Ananya [from Sanskrit, unique] can find a way to melt our hearts and make us overlook all her crimes of the day.

Of course, the same can be said of the young of other animals. No matter how ferocious an animal may appear, her baby will always have that divine innocence whether it is a baby bear or a kangaroo kid. But wait a minute, why would we call them baby this and baby that when there are specific words for them, such as cub or joey. This week's AWAD shows words for seven offspring in the animal kingdom. -Anu

X-Bonus

When the fox preaches, look to the geese. -German Proverb


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