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Apr 26, 2021
This week’s theme
Words made with animal parts

This week’s words
rostrum
carapace
hackle
pinnacle
hightail

rostrum
How long is your rostrum? Probably not as long as this weevil’s.

rostrum
A replica of Willem Barentsz’s ship in Harlingen, The Netherlands
Photo: Smiley.toerist / Wikimedia

Previous week’s theme
Nouning verbs and verbing nouns
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Around here we do not consume food with animal ingredients -- a plant-based diet works just fine.* We make an exception for words, however. This week we’ll feature five such words -- words made with animal parts. Sometimes it’s obvious. Sometimes not, and you’ll have to read the label for a word’s list of ingredients, also known as the etymology.

We’ll go from head to tail, or at least from beak to tail.

*If you are curious why, check out the documentary Dominion.

rostrum

PRONUNCIATION:
(ROS-truhm, RO-struhm)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A platform, stage, dais, etc., for public speaking.
2. A beaklike projection on a warship, used for ramming another ship.
3. A snout, beak, or bill of an animal.

ETYMOLOGY:
In ancient Rome, a speaking platform was decorated with the beaks of captured ships. Hence the use of the term for a speaking platform. From Latin rostrum (snout, bill, beak), from rodere (to gnaw). Earliest documented use: 1542.

USAGE:
“MPs blocked the parliament’s rostrum before the start of an extraordinary meeting.”
Party of Regions Blocks Parliament Rostrum; Kyiv Post (Ukraine); Feb 3, 2010.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
A new word is like a fresh seed sown on the ground of the discussion. -Ludwig Wittgenstein, philosopher (26 Apr 1889-1951)

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