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Aug 9, 2022
This week’s theme
Words coined after animals

This week’s words
cynical
lemming
serpentine
jackrabbit
chevachee

lemming
“Liz says...”
“Liz, Liz, Liz! If Liz told you to not jump off a bridge would you do it??”
Cartoon: Mark Stivers

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

lemming

PRONUNCIATION:
(LEM-ing)

MEANING:
noun:
1. Any of various small, thickset, short-tailed, furry rodents.
2. One who mindlessly conforms or follows, especially toward disaster.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Norwegian and Danish lemming, from Old Norse lómundr/læmingi/læmingr. Earliest documented use: 1607.

NOTES:
Lemmings do not go lemming. It’s a myth that lemmings jump off a cliff into water in an act of mass suicide. It was popularized by the 1958 Disney film White Wilderness. For more, see here and here.

USAGE:
“Lucy ... had an almost inexplicably strong following among the big-platinumblonde-acid-wash-jean lemmings of Southeast High School.”
Ron Bahar; The Frontman; SparkPress; 2018.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
A writer is, after all, only half his book. The other half is the reader and from the reader the writer learns. -P.L. (Pamela Lyndon) Travers, author, creator of the "Mary Poppins" series (9 Aug 1899-1996)

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