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Jul 26, 2013
This week's theme
Yours to discover

This week's words
olid
sook
zymic
meed
pica

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Words seen in their plural forms
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

pica

PRONUNCIATION:
(PY-kuh)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A tendency or craving for eating substances other than normal food (such as clay, chalk, and dirt), common during childhood or pregnancy.
2. In printing, a unit of type size, equal to about 1/6 of an inch.
3. A type size for typewriters, having ten characters to the inch.

ETYMOLOGY:
For 1: From Latin pica (magpie, craving), from a magpie's indiscriminate feeding. Earliest documented use: 1563.
For 2, 3: Of uncertain origin. Perhaps from a book or church rules. Earliest documented use: 1588.

USAGE:
"'Raw potatoes. Mom ate them unwashed with the dirt still on the skin. She'd send them back if Dad rinsed them.'
'That's sick! Didn't she take prenatal vitamins?'
'Yes, but she still had potato pica.'"
Anne Marie Duquette; Pregnant Protector; Harlequin; 2011.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
There is a field beyond all notions of right and wrong. Come, meet me there. -Rumi, poet and mystic (1207-1273)

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