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Jun 4, 2007
This week's theme
Words that turn into other words when beheaded

This week's words
premorse
testate
previse
strident
educe

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

premorse

Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

What happens when you remove the letter "a" from the front of the alphabet? You b-head it. Each of this week's words sprouts another word when you behead it. Go ahead, try it. Decapitate these words. Decollate them. You won't hurt a thing. Nor will the word-police arrest you for verbicide -- destroying (the meaning of) a word -- for in each instance you'll be generating another word, a guaranteed 100% dictionary word.

premorse (pri-MORS) adjective

Having the end abruptly truncated, as if bitten or broken off.

[From Latin praemorsus, from praemordere (to bite in front), from prae- (before), mordere (to bite). Ultimately from the Indo-European root mer- (to rub away or to harm) that is also the source of morse, mordant, amaranth, morbid, mortal, mortgage, and nightmare.]

"As I looked over the water, I saw the isles rapidly wasting away, the sea nibbling voraciously at the continent, the springing arch of a hill suddenly interrupted, as at Point Alderton -- what botanists might call premorse, -- showing, by its curve against the sky, how much space it must have occupied, where now was water only."
Henry David Thoreau; Cape Cod; 1865.

X-Bonus

The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me. The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them. -George Bernard Shaw, writer, Nobel laureate (1856-1950)

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