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Sep 13, 2017
This week’s theme
There’s a word for it

This week’s words
whataboutery
mythomania
tenesmus
xenophobia
kayfabe


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tenesmus

PRONUNCIATION:
(tuh-NEZ-muhs, -nes-)

MEANING:
noun: A distressing but ineffectual urge to defecate or urinate.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin tenesmus, from Greek teinesmos, from teinein (to stretch or strain). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ten- (to stretch), which also gave us tense, tenet, tendon, tent, tenor, tender, pretend, extend, tenure, tetanus, hypotenuse, pertinacious, detente, countenance, distend, extenuate, and tenable. Earliest documented use: 1527.

USAGE:
“However, his malady increased upon him, and in spite of my colleague’s efforts and of my own he is now on shore with an obstinate tenesmus that will keep him there.”
Patrick O’Brian; The Mauritius Command; Collins; 1977.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Spurned pity can turn into cruelty just as spurned love turns into hate. -Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach, writer (13 Sep 1830-1916)

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