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Aug 24, 2015
This week’s theme
Eponyms

This week’s words
lorelei
Paul Pry
boycott
chauvinism
lovelace

Lorelei
Art: Carl Joseph Begas (1794-1854)

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Lorelei

If you have ever called someone brainy an Einstein, or someone clever and perceptive a Sherlock (sometimes sarcastically), you have made use of an eponym.

An eponym is a word coined after a person, from Greek epi- (upon) + -onym (name). The English language has thousands of them, for men and women, from fact and fiction, obscure and well-known, home-grown and borrowed from other languages.

This week we’ll feature five assorted eponyms.

PRONUNCIATION:
(LOR-uh-ly)

MEANING:
noun: A dangerously seductive woman.

ETYMOLOGY:
In German legend Lorelei was a nymph who sat on a rock of the same name on the Rhine river. Her songs lured sailors to their destruction on the rock. Earliest documented use: 1878. Also see siren, Mata Hari, and Circe.

USAGE:
“In fact, Peter the Publican’s daughter is his Lorelei, enticing customers into his establishment, then flirting brazenly just to keep them drinking.”
Michael Dirda; These Dead Men Don’t Just Tell Tales, They Quarrel. A Lot; The Washington Post; Apr 9, 2015.

See more usage examples of Lorelei in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
To fall in love is to create a religion that has a fallible god. -Jorge Luis Borges, writer (24 Aug 1899-1986)

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