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Feb 17, 2011
This week's theme
Polysemantic words

This week's words
fell
pip
parity
seadog
fluke

seadog
Illustration: Rebekah Potter

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

seadog

PRONUNCIATION:
(SEE-dog)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A veteran sailor.
2. A harbor seal.
3. A pirate or privateer.
4. A faint rainbow-like formation seen in foggy conditions. Also called mistbow, fogbow, and white rainbow.

ETYMOLOGY:
From sea + dog, from use of the word dog as a playful term to refer to someone, as in old dog. Earliest documented use: 1598.

USAGE:
"But seadog Cyril Howarth -- who is nicknamed Admiral Cyril -- fears his days navigating his favourite waters could be torpedoed after an investigation was launched by canal bosses."
Paul Fielding; Fylde Sailor Builds Nazi Submarine; The Gazette (Blackpool, UK); Oct 7, 2010.

"Forget the seadogs that Captain Hook unleashed on the Lost Boys. Forget Long John Silver and his parrot. The most famous brigands debuted in 1879."
Lawrence Bommer; Light Opera Revives Pirates of Penzance; Chicago Tribune; Dec 20, 2002.

See more usage examples of seadog in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
There is no absurdity so palpable but that it may be firmly planted in the human head if you only begin to inculcate it before the age of five, by constantly repeating it with an air of great solemnity. -Arthur Schopenhauer, philosopher (1788-1860)

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