Wordsmith.Org


A.Word.A.Day

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  


Home

Today's Word

Yesterday's Word

Archives

FAQ


This week's theme
Words related to the names of fish

This week's words
minnow
gudgeon
remora
inconnu
tope

Today's word in
Visual Thesaurus

Manta Hotel
Manta ray with remoras Remoras with manta ray
(Photo: medu)

Like what you see?
Spread the word. Send a gift subscription of A.Word.A.Day

Discuss
Feedback
RSS/XML
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

remora

PRONUNCIATION:
(REM-uhr-ah)

MEANING:
noun:
1. Any of several fishes of the family Echeneididae that have a dorsal fin modified in the shape of a suction disk that they use to attach to a larger fish, sea-turtles, or ships.
Also called sharksucker or suckerfish.
2. Hindrance, drag.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin, literally delay, from remorari (to linger, delay), from re- + morari (to delay), from mora (delay).

NOTES:
"Demur" and "moratorium" are other words that share the same root as remora. They all involve the idea of delay. Remora got their name from the belief that they slowed ships down by attaching themselves to the hull. Remora's suction power is so strong that, in some parts of the world, lines are attached to their tails and lowered into the water to fish for sea turtles.

Remoras eat scraps from the fish they attach to. But they don't just get a free ride and free food. It's a symbiotic relationship as they, in turn, remove parasites from their bigger buddies.

USAGE:
"Ryder has been a remora to the Heathers but boils over and, with Slater's crucial aid, kills one kind of accidentally."
Ted Mahar; High School Confidential; The Oregonian (Portland); Sep 3, 1999.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
All the arguments to prove man's superiority cannot shatter this hard fact: in suffering the animals are our equals. -Peter Singer, philosopher, professor of bioethics (b. 1946)

Subscribe:

Sign up to receive A.Word.A.Day in your mailbox every day.

"The most welcomed, most enduring piece of daily mass e-mail in cyberspace."

The New York Times

Sponsored by:

Give the Gift of Words

Share the magic of words. Send a gift subscription of A.Word.A.Day.

Anu on Words:
Writer Magazine
Globe & Mail

Interact:

Bulletin board
Wordsmith Talk

Moderated Chat
Wordsmith Chat

Readers' Voice
AWADmail

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 2014 Wordsmith