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Apr 30, 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

materfamilias

PRONUNCIATION:
(may-tuhr-fuh-MIL-ee-uhs)

MEANING:
noun: The female head of a family, household, tribe, etc.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin materfamilias, from mater (mother) + familias, from familia (household), from famulus (servant, slave).

NOTES:
Paterfamilias is the masculine equivalent of the word.

USAGE:
"Equally, as materfamilias, Queen Elizabeth will have time to devote to the motherless Prince William, and to groom him for kingship while his father reigns."
Tunku Varadarajan; A New Queen Mum?; The Wall Street Journal (New York, NY); Apr 2, 2002.

"First we have Nora [Nina Poliakoff], materfamilias of the bizarre brood in whose home this absurdist mystery-farce takes place."
K.C. Compton; CSF Opener is a Metaphor for Confusion; Santa Fe New Mexican; Oct 14, 1994.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
They're too close to the trees to see the forest. People in California or New York understand that Alaska is not so big. They live in places where the wilderness once seemed limitless, but they know it disappears. -Edgar Wayburn, environmentalist and doctor (b. 1906)

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