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Today's Word



Oct 16, 2023
This week’s theme
Words derived from food

This week’s words
cake eater

Royal Perks? Not the appanage we mean, though it does include the bread.

Previous week’s theme
Words for body parts
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with Anu Garg

What’s an airplane? You might say it’s a mode of transportation. Another person might call it food. And you both would be right.

Meet Michel Lotito, the man who ate a whole plane, complete with the engine, tires, seats, and whatever else it had. And washed it all down with mineral oil.

Gives a whole new meaning to the term airline food.

All this sounds like a figment of someone’s juicy imagination, but the Guinness Book of World Records actually certified his feat. Then he ate the award plaque itself.

All this is impressive, though I was a bit disappointed to read that he ate a mere Cessna, not a Boeing or Airbus jumbo jet. As a motivational speaker once said: THINK BIG.

Seriously though, you have to admire a man like that.

To each his own. I’d eat anything as long as it comes from plants. The most adventuresome eating in my case was a big lump of wasabi I put in my mouth thinking it was some kind of chutney. The thing shot up my nose like a space rocket.

What’s the strangest thing you have ever eaten? Share below or email us at words@wordsmith.org. Include your location (city, state).

Meanwhile we’ll look at five words related to food that are used metaphorically. Sometimes the food part is obvious, other times you have to look for it, much like Lotito did. But whatever you do, don’t confuse appanage with empennage -- the latter has nothing to do with food (except for Michel Lotito).

appanage or apanage


1. An allowance given for the maintenance of a member of a royal family.
2. A perk associated with a job or a position.

From French apanage, from apaner (to endow), from Latin appanare, from ad- (toward) + panis (bread). Earliest documented use: 1602.

Traditionally, both royalty and common folk followed the system of primogeniture, where the firstborn child inherited the crown or other assets such as the family farm. So, what about the younger children? They were given an appanage, an allowance, or some source of revenue, such as land, for their maintenance.

“PM Mette Frederiksen will accordingly submit a motion to Parliament to enable the prince to continue receiving his appanage in his new home.”
Ben Hamilton; Prince Joachim Moving to the US; The Copenhagen Post (Denmark); Mar 17, 2023.

“With a brilliant detachment that is anything but clinical -- the contradictory appanage of the true poet -- [Mahmoud Darwish’s] lyrics are resolutely clear-eyed.”
Luis H. Francia; Fortune’s Child; The Village Voice (New York); Jan 15, 2003.

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

A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it. -Oscar Wilde, writer (16 Oct 1854-1900)

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