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Apr 11, 2014
This week's theme
Words formed in error

This week's words
belfry
ambage
arrant
sashay
viperine

This week's comments
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Next week's theme
Words coined after Shakespearean characters
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

viperine

PRONUNCIATION:
(VY-puhr-in, -puh-ryn)

MEANING:
adjective: Of or relating to a viper; venomous; malicious.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin vipera (snake), which arose from a mispronunciation/contraction of vivipera, from vivus (alive) + parere (to give birth). Vipers are named so because most vipers give birth to live young (instead of eggs). The eggs stay within the mother's body till they are ready to hatch. Earliest documented use: around 1540.

USAGE:
"The musical taught a generation of viperine office politicians how to stick a shiv into their bosses without leaving any fingerprints on the handle."
Terry Teachout; Lovable, Huggable, and Unscrupulous Too; The Wall Street Journal (New York); Mar 29, 2011.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use. -Galileo Galilei, physicist and astronomer (1564-1642)

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