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Dec 3, 2012
This week's theme
Words derived from numbers

This week's words
septentrional
decimate
hebdomad
doyen
dubious

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Numbers are everywhere, though it may not always be obvious. A twine is, literally, two threads. A siesta is sixth hour. And to atone is to be "at one" or be in agreement.

You can say this week's words are numbered. All of them are based on numbers, though their numeric origin is often hidden.

septentrional

PRONUNCIATION:
(sep-TEN-tree-uh-nuhl)

MEANING:
adjective: Northern.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin septentriones, literally the seven ploughing oxen, a name for the seven stars of the Great Bear constellation that appears in the northern sky. From Latin septem (seven) + triones (ploughing oxen). Earliest documented use: around 1400.

USAGE:
"Once the tourists have filtered back to their septentrional homes in Europe, the men of Spetsai [Greece] resume their norm of shooting birds."
C.L. Sulzberger; A Return Visit to Glistening Spetsai; The New York Times; Sep 28, 1986.

"The first entailed ... traveling north at a snail's pace through the septentrional regions of North Korea."
Claude Lanzmann; The Patagonian Hare: A Memoir; Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 2012.
(translation by Frank Wynne)

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry. -Thomas Paine, philosopher and writer (1737-1809)

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