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Apr 2, 2004
This week's theme
Unusual words

This week's words
bushwa
resistentialism
cock-a-hoop
gadzookery
petrichor

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

petrichor

Pronunciation RealAudio

petrichor (PET-ri-kuhr) noun

The pleasant smell that accompanies the first rain after a dry spell.

[From petro- (rock), from Greek petros (stone) + ichor (the fluid that is supposed to flow in the veins of the gods in Greek mythology). Coined by researchers I.J. Bear and R.G. Thomas.]

"Petrichor, the name for the smell of rain on dry ground, is from oils given off by vegetation, absorbed onto neighboring surfaces, and released into the air after a first rain."
Matthew Bettelheim; Nature's Laboratory; Shasta Parent (Mt Shasta, California); Jan 2002.

"But, even in the other pieces, her prose breaks into passages of lyrical beauty that come as a sorely needed revivifying petrichor amid the pitiless glare of callousness and cruelty."
Pradip Bhattacharya; Forest Interludes; Indianest.com; Jul 29, 2001.

X-Bonus

At bottom, every man knows perfectly well that he is a unique being, only once on this earth; and by no extraordinary chance will such a marvelously picturesque piece of diversity in unity as he is, ever be put together a second time. -Friedrich Nietzsche, philosopher (1844-1900)

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