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Feb 10, 2017
This week’s theme
Eponyms

This week’s words
gnathonic
bovarism
Mrs. Grundy
struwwelpeter
gargantua

Gargantua
Baby gargantua (detail)
Illustration: Gustave Doré, 1873

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Next week’s theme
American eponyms
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

gargantua

PRONUNCIATION:
(gar-GAN-choo-uh)

MEANING:
noun: A giant in size, feats, stature, or (physical or intellectual) appetites.

ETYMOLOGY:
After Gargantua, a voracious giant, the father of Pantagruel, in a series of novels by François Rabelais (c. 1490-1553). The son also has given a word to the English language: pantagruelian. Earliest documented use: 1571.

USAGE:
“In Io’s sky, Jupiter crawls like a gargantua, a bright, vast, streaked disk eating the blackness of space, so huge it seems intent on crushing everything under it.”
Dana Wilde; Io Roars and Shakes Its Fires in Empty Space; Bangor Daily News (Maine); Apr 23, 2007.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
What for centuries raised man above the beast is not the cudgel but the irresistible power of unarmed truth. -Boris Pasternak, poet and novelist (10 Feb 1890-1960)

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