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Jun 30, 2021
This week’s theme
Words with many meanings

This week’s words
dobber
bruit
cameo
pillbox
plight

cameo
A cameo carved on a shell, 1925, Naples, Italy
Photo: Bellezzedinapoli/Wikimedia

Hitchcock cameo
Hitchcock boarding a train in a cameo in Strangers on a Train, 1951
Photo: Wikimedia

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

cameo

PRONUNCIATION:
(KAM-ee-oh)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A small sculpture carved in relief on a background of another color.
2. A short description, literary sketch, etc., that effectively presents the subject.
3. A very brief appearance by a well-known actor or celebrity in a film, typically in a non-speaking role.
4. A brief appearance or a minor role.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Italian cammeo, from Latin cammaeus. Earliest documented use: 1561.

NOTES:
Why hasn’t anyone performed a cameo role while wearing cameo jewelry? That would be the most logical thing to do.

USAGE:
“Hard-stone cameos are often in rings as well as in pendants.”
Stan Shelley; In Lesser Cameos, the Value Comes from the Metal Setting; Times News (Hendersonville, North Carolina); Dec 8, 2011.

“Since then Egypt has largely avoided overseas adventures, save for an unimpressive cameo in the Gulf war in 1991.”
Showdown on the Nile; The Economist (London, UK); Jul 4, 2020.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Life is a jest, and all things show it, / I thought so once, and now I know it. -John Gay, poet and dramatist (30 Jun 1685-1732)

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