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Oct 9, 2015
This week’s theme
Bird words

This week’s words
gannet
snipe
dodo
magpie
dotterel

dotterel
Photo: Tom Dean

This week’s comments
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Next week’s theme
Words with hooks
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

dotterel

PRONUNCIATION:
(DOT-uhr-uhl)

MEANING:
noun:
1. Any of various plovers breeding in mountainous areas.
2. Someone who is easily duped.

ETYMOLOGY:
From dote (to be weak-minded from old age), from Middle English doten (to be foolish) + -rel (diminutive or pejorative suffix), as in doggerel and wastrel. The metaphorical sense of the word derives from the apparently unsuspecting nature of the bird. Earliest documented use: 1440.

USAGE:
“A willowy young creature walked down the stairs from the rooms above, holding on to the arm of some old dotterel who had no doubt been duped into imagined vigour.”
David Ashton; Inspector McLevy Mysteries: Omnibus; Polygon; 2015.

See more usage examples of dotterel in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Imagine there's no countries, / It isn't hard to do. / Nothing to kill or die for, / And no religion, too. / Imagine all the people / Living life in peace. -John Lennon, musician (9 Oct 1940-1980)

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