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Nov 25, 2010
This week's theme
Words from Yiddish

This week's words
schmeer
noodge
shamus
golem
schmegeggy

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

golem

PRONUNCIATION:
(GO-luhm, -lem)

MEANING:
noun:
1. An automaton.
2. A blockhead.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Yiddish goylem, from Hebrew golem (shapeless mass). First recorded use: 1897.

NOTES:
In Jewish legend a golem was a human-like figure brought to life supernaturally. The most famous of these golem stories is of the golem of Prague, in which a 16th century rabbi created a golem to protect the Jews from anti-Semitic attacks.

USAGE:
"I've created a golem that will continue to live, no matter what I do. Books get burnt and websites disappear, but my e-mail accounts continue to get spammed."
Serge Debrebant; Berthold Metz: "I'm Trying To Become The World's Most-Spammed Person"; Financial Times (London, UK); Apr 17, 2010.

See more usage examples of golem in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
We are all tattooed in our cradles with the beliefs of our tribe; the record may seem superficial, but it is indelible. You cannot educate a man wholly out of the superstitious fears which were implanted in his imagination, no matter how utterly his reason may reject them. -Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr, poet, novelist, essayist, and physician (1809-1894)

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