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A.Word.A.Day--dewclaw

Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

This week's theme: There is a word for it.

dewclaw (DOO-klaw, DYOO-) noun

A small claw not reaching the ground, on the foot of some animals.

[Origin uncertain, perhaps from the fact that other claws touch the ground, but a dewclaw only brushes the dew on the grass. A related term is dewlap, a loose fold of skin hanging under the neck of an animal such as a cow.]

-Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)

"Dog lovers need to keep an eye on dewclaws and remember to keep the nails trimmed." Gina Spadafori; Beware of Halloween Hazards for Animals; The Sacramento Bee (California); Oct 28, 2006.

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It is not giving children more that spoils them; it is giving them more to avoid confrontation. -John Gray, author (b. 1951)

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