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A.Word.A.Day--houri

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houri (HOOR-ee) 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.

This week's theme: words having origins in Arabic.

X-Bonus

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

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