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Today's Word

Yesterday's Word




Pronunciation RealAudio

emptor (EMP-tuhr) noun

A buyer.

[From Latin emptor (buyer), from emere (to buy, take).]

We're more familiar with today's word in the form of caveat emptor (buyer beware). Other words that come from the same root emere are pre-empt (literally, to buy beforehand), example (to take out something), premium (inducement to buy), prompt (to be quick in taking), redeem (to buy again), and vintage (to take from vinum, grapes). -Anu

"American `retail anthropologist' Paco Underhill is one of the plumbers. Mr Underhill makes his living watching homo emptor -- the king and queen of retail, otherwise known as the shopper: you and me. One of his findings: `Men are buying their own underpants.'" Steve Evans, Futility is the Driving Force of Fashion, The Dominion (Wellington, New Zealand), Oct 18, 1997.

"His personal nominees for the most-likely-to-deceive award are the Midtown electronics stores, infamous for bait-and-switch ads, selling used goods as new and not posting prices so that they can be adjusted according to the perceived sophistication of the emptor." Paula Span, New York: The Unconventional Guide, The Washington Post, Jul 12, 1992.

This week's theme: words related to buying and selling.


If you don't execute your ideas, they die. -Roger von Oech, author and consultant

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