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Aug 21, 2013
This week's theme
Baddies from fiction

This week's words
bluebeard
procrustes
siren
gorgon
Dr. Strangelove

The Siren
The Siren
Art: Edward Armitage (1817-1876)

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

siren

PRONUNCIATION:
(SY-ruhn)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A beautiful and seductive woman, especially one leading others into disaster.
2. Something attractive that is potentially disastrous.
3. A device that makes loud sounds, used for warning signals.

ETYMOLOGY:
After Siren, one of a group of sea nymphs, whose enchanting singing lured sailors to shipwreck on the rocks around their island. Also see femme fatale. Earliest documented use: 1340.

USAGE:
"That woman is a siren of cooking. She calls a man's soul through his stomach."
Ariana Franklin; Mistress of the Art of Death; Penguin; 2007.

"In the mid-17th century Russians first heard its [The Amur River, bordering Russia and China] siren song and appeared on its banks, drawn by greed and fantasy."
The Amur's Siren Song; The Economist (London, UK); Dec 17, 2009.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Insanity in individuals is something rare -- but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs, it is the rule. -Friedrich Nietzsche, philosopher (1844-1900)

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