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May 26, 2009
This week's theme
Words derived from numbers

This week's words
decussate
hecatomb
atone
tessera
decuman

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

hecatomb

PRONUNCIATION:
(HEK-uh-toom, -tom)

MEANING:
noun: A large-scale slaughter.

ETYMOLOGY:
Originally a hecatomb was a public sacrifice and feast of 100 oxen or cattle to the gods in ancient Greece and Rome. The word is derived from Latin hekatombe, from Greek hekatombe, from hekaton (hundred) + bous (ox). Another word derived from bous (ox) is boustrophedon.

USAGE:
"The use of high-tech weapons will result in hecatombs, smart as the US bombs may be."
Lost Values; Kathimerini (Athens, Greece); Mar 17, 2003.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
He who sees a need and waits to be asked for help is as unkind as if he had refused it. -Dante Alighieri, poet (1265-1321)

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