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A.Word.A.Day--veld

Pronunciation RealAudio

veld (velt, felt) noun, also veldt

Open grassland in southern Africa.

[From Afrikaans veld, from Dutch veld (field).]

"From elephant turds, it (a dung beetle) molds food balls, which it rolls backward across the veld by standing on its head and kicking manically with its heels." Rob Nixon; Around the Water Hole; The New York Times; Jul 28, 2002.

"The fiercely waged struggle which went on between humans and felines in those far-off days when sabre-toothed tiger and cave lion contended with primeval man, has long ago been decided in favour of the most fitly equipped combatant -- the Thing with a Thumb -- and the descendants of the dispossessed family are relegated to-day, for the most part, to the waste lands of jungle and veld, where an existence of self-effacement is the only alternative to extermination." Hector Hugh Munro (Saki); The Achievement of the Cat.

This week's theme: words borrowed from African languages.

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Drama is life with the dull bits cut out. -Alfred Hitchcock, film-maker (1899-1980)

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