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Aug 30, 2022
This week’s theme
Metaphors & idioms

This week’s words
rose-colored
Taj Mahal
hotheaded
chicken feed
third rail

Taj Mahal
Build your own Taj Mahal with Lego bricks (warring experience with siblings not included)

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Taj Mahal

PRONUNCIATION:
(taj/tazh muh-HUHL/HAHL)

MEANING:
noun: Something, especially a building, that is luxurious or an extraordinary example of its kind.

ETYMOLOGY:
After Taj Mahal, a mausoleum in Agra, India. Earliest documented use: 1860.

NOTES:
The Mughal king Shah Jahan (1592-1666) built the Taj Mahal, a mausoleum of white marble, in memory of his favorite wife Mumtaz Mahal (1593-1631).

Khurram was his real name, Shah Jahan was the title, literally, the king of the world. When Shah Jahan became ill, his sons did what their father had done to become The King of the World -- they fought amongst themselves in a war of succession. Aurangzeb, the third son, defeated his brothers and put his father Shah Jahan (The King of the World) in a prison where he died eight years later.

Aurangzeb’s title was Alamgir, literally, conqueror of the world. He too built a mausoleum in memory of his favorite wife. Now you can guess what his sons did when it was time for succession.

Much time has passed but not much has changed. Look anywhere in the world or closer to home to see the lengths some go to to become the king of the world for a few moments.

On a lighter note, if the Taj Mahal were for sale, and you were a real-estate agent representing it, what would your listing say. Share on our website or email us at words@wordsmith.org.

USAGE:
“Said [Glenda Baskin] Glover, the president: ‘Faculty look forward to working in a reasonable environment. They’re not looking for a Taj Mahal, but they don’t want to work in a building with water leaking from the ceiling.’”
Katherine Mangan; The Betrayal of Historically Black Colleges; The Chronicle of Higher Education (Washington, DC); Oct 15, 2021.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The more physics you have the less engineering you need. -Ernest Rutherford, physicist, Nobel laureate in chemistry (30 Aug 1871-1937)

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