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Nov 12, 2004This week's theme
What does that car name mean?
This week's words
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tercel (TUR-sel) noun, also tiercel or tercelet
The male of a hawk, especially of the peregrine falcon or a goshawk.
[From Middle English, from Middle French terçuel, from Vulgar Latin tertiolus, diminutive of Latin tertius (third). Ultimately from Indo-European root trei- (three) that's also the source of such words as three, testify (to be the third person), triskaidekaphobia (fear of the number 13).]
Why the sense of third in the word for a male hawk? It's either from the belief that the third egg produced a male, or from the fact that the male of hawk is one-third smaller than the female.
See more usage examples of tercel in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.
"Adam was a 2-year-old tercel Hubbard had been working with for more
than a year. The bird was acquired from a federally licensed breeder
"On this occasion the tercel flew off after a pigeon, and though the
bird was fitted with a tracking device, it disappeared."
Today's word is the name of a car from Toyota.
The mind is but a barren soil; a soil which is soon exhausted, and will produce no crop, or only one, unless it be continually fertilized and enriched with foreign matter. -Joshua Reynolds, painter (1723-1792)
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