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Aug 18, 2011
This week's theme
Words that have many unrelated meanings

This week's words
coronary
fugue
marrow
talus
billet

talus
Talus field of Melakwa Pass, Washington
Photo: K·FREE

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

talus

PRONUNCIATION:
(TAY-luhs)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A bone of the ankle joint, also known as the anklebone.
2. A slope, especially a sloping mass of debris at the foot of a cliff.

ETYMOLOGY:
For 1: From Latin talus (ankle, anklebone, die for gaming). Earliest documented use: 1684.
For 2: From French talus, from Old French talu (slope), from Latin talutium (slope). Earliest documented use: 1645.

USAGE:
"Do you appreciate your feet? Have you thanked your metatarsals for their hard work? How about your talus?"
Vince Pierri; Why it's Important to Appreciate Your Feet; Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, Illinois); Apr 4, 2008.

"John Laing then tumbled an additional 70 to 100 feet down a talus slope."
Cory Hatch; Two Rescued After Accidents; Jackson Hole News & Guide (Wyoming); Jul 20, 2010.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
I am not interested to know whether vivisection produces results that are profitable to the human race or doesn't. The pain which it inflicts upon unconsenting animals is the basis of my enmity toward it, and it is to me sufficient justification of the enmity without looking further. -Mark Twain, author and humorist (1835-1910)

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