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Apr 27, 2009
This week's theme
Words for him and her

This week's words
maritorious
patrocliny
misogyny
materfamilias
pseudandry

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

maritorious

As we head towards equality of the sexes, the same word works fine for both. Today one who teaches is simply a teacher, compared to earlier days when we had teachers and teacheresses, depending on their anatomy. This is a good thing: why have two separate words when a person's gender has no bearing on the job? But sometimes separate words are necessary to convey a distinction. This week we'll feature five words that relate specifically to either men or women, and we'll also include words for him or for her.

PRONUNCIATION:
(ma-ri-TOR-ee-uhs)

MEANING:
adjective: Excessively fond of one's husband.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin maritus (married, husband).

NOTES:
The word to describe a husband who is excessively fond of a wife is uxorious. The word maritorious is rare, while uxorious is fairly well known. What does that say about the relative fondness of husbands and wives to each other?

USAGE:
"Dames maritorious ne'er were meritorious."
George Chapman; The Tragedy of Bussy D'Ambois; 1607.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The soundest argument will produce no more conviction in an empty head than the most superficial declamation; as a feather and a guinea fall with equal velocity in a vacuum. -Charles Caleb Colton, author and clergyman (1780-1832)

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