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Aug 2, 2012
This week's theme
Words that have the plural spelled the same but pronounced differently

This week's words
corps
faux pas
rendezvous
pince-nez
precis

Anton Chekhov in pince-nez
Anton Chekhov in pince-nez
Detail from a portrait by Osip Braz, 1898

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

pince-nez

PRONUNCIATION:
(PANS-nay, PINS-)
plural pince-nez (-nayz)

MEANING:
noun: A pair of eyeglasses held in place by a spring that grips the nose.

ETYMOLOGY:
From French pince-nez, literally, pinch-nose. Ultimately from the Indo-European root nas- (nose) that is also the source of other words for nose: English nose, Hindi nak, Spanish nariz, French nez, and related words nuzzle, nostril, nasal, and nark. Earliest documented use: 1866.

NOTES:
We may now wonder why someone didn't think of the obvious solution of adding side arms sooner, but hindsight is 20/20. Pince-nez were an improvement over what they used before: lorgnettes.

USAGE:
"Edward Weston had pince-nez on a cord around his neck and would peer at her through the lenses of the glasses."
Matt Schudel; Charis Wilson, Model and Muse; The Washington Post; Nov 25, 2009.

See more usage examples of pince-nez in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The heart has its reasons that reason knows nothing of. -Blaise Pascal, philosopher and mathematician (1623-1662)

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