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A.Word.A.Day--novercal

Pronunciation RealAudio

novercal (NO-vur-kuhl) adjective

Of or relating to a stepmother; stepmotherly.

[From Latin novercalis, from noverca (stepmother), ultimately from Indo-European root newo- (new). Other words derived from this root are new, neo-, novice, novel, novelty, innovate, and renovate.]

"Guido's old lady-mother Beatrice,
Who since her husband, Count Tommaso's death,
Had held sole sway i' the house, -- the doited crone
Slow to acknowledge, curtsey and abdicate, --
Was recognized of true novercal type,
Dragon and devil."
Robert Browning; The Ring and the Book: Book 2; 1868.

"Her novercal guardian observed Nana Yaa waddle and limp like a duck and did not quite seem to understand the cause."
Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe; New York Beacon; Aug 20, 2003.

This week's theme: words about relations.

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