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omphalos (OM-fuh-los) noun [plural omphali (-lee)]

1. The navel.

2. A central part; a focal point.


Baumann, Paul, Saint Joseph, a.k.a. Leopold Bloom; on fatherhood and hopefulness), Commonweal, 16 Dec 1994. "Turning to my overworked, overwrought, and under-Catholicized (read Jewish) wife, I put a hand on her deflated belly, that omphalos of our little world."

Seamus Heaney: "I talk about them driving past, but they cannot shake the omphalos, which is the center of belonging for the Irish person." Charles Guenther, Nobel Prize Poet Discusses His Irish Muse, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 14 Oct 1998.

This week's theme: words from Greek.


He who allows oppression, shares the crime. -Erasmus Darwin, British physician, scientist, reformer, and poet; grandfather of Charles Darwin [The Botanic Garden] (1731-1802)

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