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Jan 25, 2021
This week’s theme
It’s raining cats & dogs

This week’s words
cynegetic
caterwaul
dogged
canicular
fat cat

cynegetic
Photo: Tim Mowrer

Previous week’s theme
Words to describe people
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

A dog has no more to do with someone dogmatic than a cat has to do with someone who acts as a catalyst.

A caterpillar has connections to both a cat and a dog. The English caterpillar is, literally speaking, a hairy cat. French for a caterpillar, chenille,* on the other paw, is from chien (dog).

That’s language for you. Appearances can be deceiving. Try not to apply logic to human languages. Gives me a headache, when I think about them. Now computer languages, those are easy.

Well, it’s raining cats and dogs this week (do not step into a poodle). All of the words have something to do with animals, of the canine and feline persuasions. Sometimes it’s obvious, other times not so much -- you may have to pay more attention to the etymology.

*It’s the same chenille that is borrowed into English for the woolly fabric. In French, it describes both the fabric and the caterpillar.

cynegetic

PRONUNCIATION:
(si-nuh-JET-ik)

MEANING:
adjective: Relating to the chase or hunting.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Greek kunagos (hunter), from kuon (dog) + igetis (leader). Earliest documented use: 1716.

USAGE:
“It’s his cynegetic knowledge that becomes the instrument of his initiation into Minne’s hunt.”
Marcelle Thiébaux; The Stag of Love; Cornell University Press; 2014.

“In a rich footnote, Chamayou notes the privileged place dogs of war are often afforded in cynegetic politics.”
Benjamin Meiches; Non-Human Humanitarians; Review of International Studies (London, UK); Jan 2019.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love. It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love a changed person. -William Somerset Maugham, writer (25 Jan 1874-1965)

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