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Feb 28, 2022
This week’s theme
Words originating in the hand

This week’s words
palmate
two-fisted
pugilism
cack-handed
manuduction

palmate newt
Palmate newt


palmate antlers
Male deer with palmate antlers

Previous week’s theme
Words borrowed from German & Hawaiian
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

The management commended the handsome, well-mannered surgeon on completing the manuscript of the manual.

Notice anything unusual about the above sentence?

Yes, it has an artificial feel to it and for a good reason. The sentence includes only one person, but it has a whole bunch of hands.

How many? Raise your hands if you caught all seven.

The management (from Italian mano) commended (Latin manus) the handsome (literally, easy to handle), well-mannered (Latin manus) surgeon (Greek kheir) on completing the manuscript (literally, handwritten) of the manual (literally, a compact hand-held book).

This week we’ll see some not-so-common words that also have their origins in hands. Call it an all-hands meeting of words.

palmate

PRONUNCIATION:
(PAL/PAHL/PA/PAH-mayt)

MEANING:
adjective: Shaped like a hand with the fingers spread.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin palma (palm, palm tree), which also gave us palmer, palmary, and palmy. Earliest documented use: 1738.

NOTES:
The word is often used to describe objects in the vegetable and animal kingdom. There are palmate leaves, feet, antlers, and more.

USAGE:
“And over the slabs lay a mantle
Of fallen palmate leaves --
The bodiless hands of autumn
With nothing up their sleeves.”
Geoffrey Brock; Forever Street; Poetry (Chicago, Illinois); Aug 2004.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Not being able to govern events, I govern myself. -Michel de Montaigne, essayist (28 Feb 1533-1592)

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