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Publication: Word A Day
Elegiac

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                     *  WORD A DAY  *
                  Thursday, July 12, 2007
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Fellow Logophiles, 

Good morning! Here are the answers to the word scramble: 
1) malinger, 2) aberrant, 3) contumacious, 4) imbroglio, and 
5) scapegrace.

Today I'd like to share with you the origin of the phrase 
"lock stock and barrel." The phrase, which means the whole 
thing, or complete, refers to the three primary components of 
a firearm. 

"Lock" is an archaic term for what is now called the "action" 
or the "receiver". It was originally called the "lock" 
because the mechanism locked the hammer back in the cocked 
position. The trigger releases the lock to fire the weapon. 

Stock is the portion of the firearm that the holds all the 
other parts together and provides a grip for the shooter. 
This is the part of the firearm that was traditionally made 
of wood. 

Barrel is the metal tube that the bullet is fired through. 

Therefore, if you purchased a gun "lock, stock and barrel" 
you got the whole gun, complete.

Sincerely,

Carly

P.S. You can discuss this issue or any other topic in the
new Word A Day forum. Check it out here... Word A Day Forum

                             *

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                             *


WORD:  elegiac  elle ji ak  (adjective) 

: Mournful. Expressing sorrow or regret. Resembling or 
  characteristic of a poetic elegy in form or content. 

SYNONYMS: * sad 
          * melancholic 
          * plaintive 

WORD WISE: Late 16th Century French 'elegiaque' or late Latin 
'elegiacus' from, ultimately, Greek elegos "song" 

QUOTE: The same elegiac and lonely tone continues to haunt 
the later poetry. 
--Northrop Frye, "The Bush Garden" 1972


                             *

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                             *


BONUS WORD OF THE DAY:  plenipotentiary 
 plen-uh-puh-TEN-shee-air-ee  (adjective) 

: Containing or conferring full power; invested with full 
power; as, plenipotentiary license; plenipotentiary ministers. 

noun: 
A person invested with full power to transact any business; 
especially, an ambassador or diplomatic agent with full power 
to negotiate a treaty or to transact other business. 

Plenipotentiary derives from Latin plenus, "full" + potens, 
"powerful." 


                  OBSCURE AND UNUSUAL WORDS
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Here's one for my fellow Harry Potter fans: 

    hippogriff   hippe grif  (noun) 
    : a monster from Greek mythology with the body of a 
    horse and the head, wings, and claws of a griffin (a 
    griffin is a mythical monster with the head and wings of 
    an eagle and the body and tail of a lion.) 

    Mid-17th century. Via French hippogriffe from Italian 
    ippogrifo, from Greek hippo + Italian grifo "griffin."


          GopherCentral's Question of the Week: 

Should Illegal aliens be allowed to sign up for the military 
in exchange for US Citizenship?

 Please share your opinion, visit: The Question of the Week

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Questions? Comments? email 'Word' at: word@gophercentral.com
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END OF WORD A DAY - Another F-R-E-E GopherCentral publication 
Copyright 2007 by NextEra Media. All rights reserved. 

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