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A.Word.A.Day--hessian

Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

This week's theme: toponyms -- words derived from the names of places.

hessian (HESH-uhn) noun

1. A mercenary soldier or a ruffian.

2. Burlap.

[After Hesse, a state in central Germany. Sense 1 derives from the fact that Hessian mercenaries served in the British army in America during the American Revolution.]

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

-Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)

"If he waits long enough to get into the race, all the usual-suspect-consultants will be booked -- which would be a boon for Mr. Gore, since his hessian strategists in 2000 made him soft-pedal the environment, the very issue that makes him seem most passionate and authentic." Maureen Dowd; Ozone Man Sequel; The New York Times; Feb 28, 2007.

X-Bonus

Unless a good deed is voluntary, it has no moral significance. -Everett Dean Martin, columnist, preacher, and philosopher (1880-1941)

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