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Mar 27, 2013
This week's theme
Loan translations

This week's words
psychological moment
running dog
potpourri
blue blood
deus ex machina

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potpourri

PRONUNCIATION:
(poh-poo-REE, POH-poo-ree)

MEANING:
noun
1. A mixture of dried flower petals, spices, herbs, etc., kept for fragrance.
2. A musical medley.
3. A mixture of incongruous things.

ETYMOLOGY:
From French pot pourri, literally rotten pot (loan translation of Spanish olla podrida), from pot (pot) + pourri (rotten), from pourrir (to rot). English has borrowed not only the loan translated term potpourri from French, but also the original Spanish olla podrida. It has borrowed from other languages a whole bunch of terms to describe hodgepodge or miscellany, such as, from Swedish smorgasbord, from French salmagundi, and from Hungarian goulash. Earliest documented use: 1611.

USAGE:
"The Moisture Festival, an exuberant potpourri of variety and burlesque, is now in its seventh year and as raffishly welcoming as ever."
Misha Berson; Neo-vaudeville Delights at Moisture Festival's Opening Night; The Seattle Times; Mar 12, 2010.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
We should be slower to think that the man at his worst is the real man, and certain that the better we are ourselves the less likely is he to be at his worst in our company. Every time he talks away his own character before us he is signifying contempt for ours. -James M. Barrie, novelist, short-story writer, and playwright (1860-1937)

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