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Aug 17, 2011
This week's theme
Words that have many unrelated meanings

This week's words
coronary
fugue
marrow
talus
billet

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

marrow

PRONUNCIATION:
(MAIR-oh)

MEANING:
noun:
1. The soft fatty tissue in the interior of bones.
2. The inmost, best, or essential part.
3. Any of various squashes in green or creamy-white colors.
4. A helper, co-worker, friend, or a spouse.

ETYMOLOGY:
For 1-3: From Old English mearg/mearh. Earliest documented use: around 1150.
For 4: Of unknown origin. Earliest documented use: 1440.

USAGE:
"Unlike most birds, a kiwi even has marrow in its bones."
Rachel Dixon; A Night With the Kiwis; The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia); Jul 30, 2011.

"Steven Spielberg has a reputation as a saccharine film-maker but he can chill you to the marrow when he wants to."
Spielberg Makes the Epic Feel Intimate Yet Again; Irish Independent (Dublin, Ireland); Jul 19, 2011.

"The big secrets behind mammoth marrows and colossal cucumbers will be unveiled at a gardening show."
Sam Casey; Grower Peter Really Knows His (Giant) Onions; Yorkshire Evening Post (UK); Jul 30, 2011.

"Poor man, he's good enough to be a marrow for anybody!"
William Chambers and Robert Chambers; Chambers's Journal of Popular Literature, Science and Arts (London, UK); Jan-Jun 1861.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Take a commonplace, clean it and polish it, light it so that it produces the same effect of youth and freshness and originality and spontaneity as it did originally, and you have done a poet's job. The rest is literature. -Jean Cocteau, author and painter (1889-1963)

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