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murdrum (MUR-drum) noun

1. The killing of a human being in a secret manner.

2. The fine payable to the king by the hundred where such a killing occurred, unless the killer was produced or the victim proved to be a Saxon.

[From Medieval Latin, from Old French, murdre, murder.]

"[F]or the unsolved murders of Frenchmen, they inflicted a particularly punitive version of the long-lasting murdrum fine ..." Saint George for England. Rebecca Colman, Saint George for England, Contemporary Review, Apr 1997.

Did you notice that today's word is a palindrome? Two other palindromic words have made the AWAD list so far: minim and Nauruan. -Anu

This week's theme: words that make one say, I didn't know there was a word for that.


Nowadays, people can be divided into three classes - the Haves, the Have-Nots, and the Have-Not-Paid-for-What-They-Haves. -Earl Wilson, newspaper columnist (1907-1987)

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