Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


A.Word.A.Day

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  


Home

Today's Word

Yesterday's Word

Archives

FAQ



Feb 24, 2012
This week's theme
Words that were formed as a plural but are now used as singular

This week's words
truce
graffiti
insignia
viscera
paraphernalia

This week's comments
AWADmail 504

Next week's theme
Words with hidden animals
Discuss
Feedback
RSS/XML
Bookmark and Share Facebook Twitter Digg MySpace Bookmark and Share
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

paraphernalia

PRONUNCIATION:
(par-uh-fuhr-NAYL-ya, -fuh-NAYL-ya)

MEANING:
noun:
1. Articles and equipment related to an activity.
2. Personal belongings.

ETYMOLOGY:
Plural of paraphernalis, from parapherna (a woman's property besides her dowry), from Greek para- (beyond) + pherne (dowry). Ultimately from the Indo-European root bher- (to carry, to bear children) that gave birth to basket, suffer, fertile, burden, bring, bear, offer, prefer, birth, periphery, phosphorus (literally, bringing light), adiaphorism, delate, and sufferance. Earliest documented use: 1478.

USAGE:
"Shops selling images of gods and Buddha and traditional religious paraphernalia are common."
Balinese Beat Goes On; Bangkok Post (Thailand); Feb 12, 2012.

"The museum's collection of vintage engines, cars, and all manner of railroad paraphernalia was on full display."
Mike Gangloff; Day at Transportation Museum; The Roanoke Times (Virginia); Feb 12, 2012.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Every advance in civilization has been denounced as unnatural while it was recent. -Bertrand Russell, philosopher, mathematician, author, Nobel prize in literature (1872-1970)

A.Word.A.Day by email:

Subscribe

"The most welcomed, most enduring piece of daily mass e-mail in cyberspace."

The New York Times

Sponsored by:

Give the Gift of Words

Share the magic of words. Send a gift subscription of A.Word.A.Day.

Anu on Words:
Writer Magazine
Globe & Mail

Interact:

Bulletin board
Wordsmith Talk

Moderated Chat
Wordsmith Chat

Readers' Voice
AWADmail

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 2014 Wordsmith