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Feb 2, 2011
This week's theme
Words derived from the names of places

This week's words
gasconade
milliner
helot
spartan
verdigris

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

helot

PRONUNCIATION:
(HEL-uht, HEE-luht)

MEANING:
noun: A serf or slave.

ETYMOLOGY:
After Helos, a town in Laconia in ancient Greece, whose inhabitants were enslaved. First recorded use: 1579.

NOTES:
Another word derived from the name of a town in Laconia is spartan, which is coined after Sparta, the capital of Laconia. And Laconia has a word coined after it too: laconic.

USAGE:
"Many wind up in jobs irrelevant to their training. That helot frothing your coffee expected to become a barrister, not a barista."
Jonathan Guthrie; Russell Groupies to Target Newbie Unis; Financial Times (London, UK); Sep 23, 2010.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Wild animals never kill for sport. Man is the only one to whom the torture and death of his fellow creatures is amusing in itself. -James Anthony Froude, author and editor (1818-1894)

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