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Jul 5, 2017
This week’s theme
People who became verbs

This week’s words
grimthorpe
mithridatize
penelopize
Robinson Crusoe
out-Herod

'Penelope and the Suitors' by John William Waterhouse
Penelope and the Suitors
Art: John William Waterhouse

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

penelopize

PRONUNCIATION:
(puh-NEL-uh-pyz)

MEANING:
verb intr.: To delay or gain time to put off an undesired event.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Penelope, the wife of Odysseus and mother of Telemachus in Greek mythology. She waited 20 years for her husband’s return from the Trojan War (ten years of war, and ten years on his way home). She kept her many suitors at bay by telling them she would marry them when she had finished weaving her web, a shroud for her father-in-law. She wove the web during the day only to unravel it during the night. Earliest documented use: 1780. Her name has become a synonym for a faithful wife: penelope.

USAGE:
“There will my wife penelopize and teach
Such love as liquefies adulterous man.”
Karl Jay Shapiro; Selected Poems; Library of America; Jan 27, 2003.

“I was tempted to penelopize, to go back to the beginning and start again in order to postpone the moment of discussion.”
Roger Green; Hydra and the Bananas of Leonard Cohen; Basic Books; 2003.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don't like? -Jean Cocteau, author and painter (5 Jul 1889-1963)

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