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PLACER

PRONUNCIATION: (for 1 & 2: PLAS-uhr, for 3 & 4: PLAY-suhr)

MEANING: noun:
1. A deposit of valuable minerals found in sand or gravel.
2. A place where such a deposit is washed to extract the valuable minerals.
3. One who finishes in a particular place in a contest.
4. One who arranges something.

ETYMOLOGY: For 1 & 2: From Spanish placer (sandbank), from Catalan placer (shoal), from Latin platea (street), from Greek plateia hodos (broad street). Earliest documented use: 1829.
For 3 & 4: From place, from Latin platea (street), from Greek plateia hodos (broad street). Earliest documented use: 1578.
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UPLACER - one who fastens footwear firmly on the feet

POL-ACER - a Canadian (maple-leaf) politician

P.R. ACER - one who pulls off a public-relations riumph

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PSYCHROPHOBIA

PRONUNCIATION: (sy-kruh-FO-bee-uh)

MEANING: noun: An abnormal fear of cold.

ETYMOLOGY: From Greek psychro- (cold) + -phobia (fear). Earliest documented use: 1727.
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PSYCHROPHONIA - the noise made by very cold ice as it shrinks further

PSYCHROPROBIA - micro-mapping the temperature gradients in vessels of liquid helium

POSY-CHRO-PHOBIA - fear of bright-colored flowers

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CHEKHOV'S GUN

PRONUNCIATION: (chek-ofs GUHN)

MEANING: noun:
1. The literary principle that if an element is introduced in a story, it must be shown to have a purpose.
2. An element introduced in a story that is revealed to have a purpose later on.

ETYMOLOGY: After the playwright and doctor Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) who espoused this principle. Earliest documented use: 1951.
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CHEKHOV'S GUN - a special removable adhesive devised by Dr Chekov for attaching moustache and beard to the actors' faces, as needed, as part of their costume

CHECK-H.O.V. GUN - for when traffic enforcers encounter road rage while verifying compliance with the High-Occupancy Vehicle regulations

CHEKHOV'S NUN - unexpected cast member in The Three Sisters

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