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Jan 5, 2017
This week’s theme
Words borrowed from Sanskrit

This week’s words
brahmin
avatar
pundit
swami
karma

Swami Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda
Photo: Thomas Harrison, 1893

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

swami

PRONUNCIATION:
(SWAM-ee)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A religious teacher, mystic, or yogi.
2. A learned man: pundit.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Hindi swami (master), from Sanskrit swami (master, lord). Ultimately from the Indo-European root s(w)e- (third person reflexive pronoun), which also gave us self, sibling, suicide, secret, sober, sullen, idiot, and Irish Sinn Fein (literally, We Ourselves). Earliest documented use: 1773.

USAGE:
“Now Sam may one day be a candidate to buy a car with a manual shifter before they disappear, as so many swamis of the automotive marketplace believe.”
Jeremy Cato; Enjoy That Stick Shift While You Can; The Globe and Mail (Toronto, Canada); Jul 25, 2013.

See more usage examples of swami in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
It is our belief that social justice begins at home. We want those who have helped us to produce this great institution and are helping to maintain it to share our prosperity. We want them to have present profits and future prospects. ... Believing as we do, that a division of our earnings between capital and labor is unequal, we have sought a plan of relief suitable for our business. -James Couzens, Ford Motor Company treasurer, announcing the doubling of wages to $5/day on Jan 5, 1914 [The Wall Street Journal said it is "to apply biblical or spiritual principles into a field where they do not belong ... (Ford has) committed economic blunders, if not crimes." Ford actually doubled its profits in two years.]

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