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Sep 14, 2020
This week’s theme
Words that aren’t what they appear to be

This week’s words
toxophily
supercargo
votive
verbigerate
recreant

toxophily
If you thought your hobby of archery wasn’t exotic enough, follow in the footsteps of the amazing Orissa Kelly
Photo: Andi Atherton

Previous week’s theme
Eponyms
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

The Limerick Writers’ Centre is not about writing limericks, but then they were not trying to be intentionally misleading.

The same is true with this week’s words. You can’t tell what’s going on just by looking at the spelling.*

At first look you might think this week’s five words are about the love of toxins, big cargo, voting, turning words into verbs, and redoing something, but no. What are they about? You’ll see this week.

*Names and words do make sense once in a while, such as when you can tell what’s going on just by looking at the spelling. An island is land (not water). Don’t try too hard to make much sense out of words though. Island is from Old English ig meaning island. So an “island” is “island land” then?

toxophily

PRONUNCIATION:
(tok-SAH-fuh-lee)

MEANING:
noun: The practice of, love of, or addiction to, archery.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Greek toxon (bow) + -phily (love), based on toxophilite, coined by Roger Ascham (1515-1568). Earliest documented use: 1887.

NOTES:
Roger Ascham was the tutor for teen Lizzie, future Queen Elizabeth I. His book Toxophilus was the first book on archery in English. It was a treatise on archery, but it was also an argument for writing in the vernacular: in English. You could say he shot two birds with one arrow.

USAGE:
“The archers stiffened under his intolerant gaze. I say intolerant because that Seg surely was when it came to matters concerning toxophily.”
Alan Burt Akers; The Lohvian Cycle II; Bladud Books; 2012.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Patriotism is proud of a country's virtues and eager to correct its deficiencies; it also acknowledges the legitimate patriotism of other countries, with their own specific virtues. The pride of nationalism, however, trumpets its country's virtues and denies its deficiencies, while it is contemptuous toward the virtues of other countries. It wants to be, and proclaims itself to be, "the greatest", but greatness is not required of a country; only goodness is. -Sydney J. Harris, journalist and author (14 Sep 1917-1986)

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