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Apr 21, 2021
This week’s theme
Nouning verbs and verbing nouns

This week’s words
woodshed
balk
festoon
bivouac
savvy

festoon
Architectural festoon, Panthéon, Paris
Photo: Lionel Allorge / Wikimedia

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

festoon

PRONUNCIATION:
(fe-STOON)

MEANING:
noun: A decorative chain or string, of flowers, leaves, ribbons, etc., hanging between two points.
verb tr.: To make or hang festoons; to decorate.

ETYMOLOGY:
From French feston, from Italian festone, from festa (festival), from Latin festa, plural of festum (festival). Earliest documented use, noun: 1676, verb: 1789.

USAGE:
“The usnea lichen hangs in festoons from the white spruce trees.”
Henry David Thoreau; Walden; Ticknor and Fields; 1854.

“Mr A asked for an opinion about the big boat in the Suez canal instead, and I told him that opinions were my bread and butter and he’d have to festoon me with cash for those.”
Zoe Williams; The Rules Are Easing, the Sun Is Out -- and I Have Forgotten How to Socialise; The Guardian (London, UK); Apr 4, 2021.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
In nothing does man, with his grand notions of heaven and charity, show forth his innate, low-bred, wild animalism more clearly than in his treatment of his brother beasts. From the shepherd with his lambs to the red-handed hunter, it is the same; no recognition of rights -- only murder in one form or another. -John Muir, naturalist, explorer, and writer (21 Apr 1838-1914)
See this note about John Muir

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