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A.Word.A.Day--peccadillo

Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

Have you ever wondered why Ecuador is so named? In Spanish, ecuador is the term for equator. Guess where Ecuador is situated on the globe.

I learned many such fascinating tidbits when studying Spanish over the last few years. I discovered that learning a new language opens doors to another culture.

From mosquito to parade to plaza, hundreds of terms from Spanish are now in everyday use in the English language. This week we'll take a look at a few other words in the English language that have their origins in Spanish. ¡Hasta mañana!

peccadillo (pek-uh-DIL-o) noun

A minor offense.

[From Spanish pecadillo, diminutive of pecado (sin), from Latin peccare (to sin). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ped- (foot) which gave us not only peccadillo (alluding to a stumble or fall) but also pedal, impeccable, podium, octopus, and impeach.]

"All legislation is said to aim at training citizens in good habits, but many of us count breaking of the law as a mere peccadillo."
Nous; Virtue of Hanging the Veil of Purdah Over Liquor; The Sunday Times; (Colombo, Sri Lanka); May 13, 2007.

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

X-Bonus

The hardest-learned lesson: that people have only their kind of love to give, not our kind. -Mignon McLaughlin, journalist and author (1913-1983)

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