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May 30, 2002
This week's theme
Words borrowed from Arabic

This week's words
alembic
nadir
jihad
houri
talisman

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

houri

(HOOR-ee) Pronunciation

noun:
1. One of the beautiful virgins provided for faithful Muslims in the Koranic paradise.
2. A voluptuously attractive young woman.

[From French, from Persian huri, from Arabic huri, plural of haura (dark-eyed woman).]

"Corn and kitsch mesh seamlessly with art and virtuosity. Suspended from a swinging chandelier, a voluptuous houri, trailing clouds of veils, undulates to the music of the Ave Maria -- with a disco tom-tom backbeat."
Howard G. Ghua-Eoan; The Moscow Circus Returns; Time (New York); Sep 19, 1988.

X-Bonus

Liberty is given by nature even to mute animals. -Publius Cornelius Tacitus, historian (55-117)

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