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Maudlin

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                     *  WORD A DAY  *
                   Tuesday, July 31, 2007
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Fellow Logophiles,


Good morning! Being a well-known logophile I was asked 
recently if I could find the origin of the phrase "take a 
dive," which means to intentionally fail in competition, 
to throw a game. 

Boxers (e.g. prize fighters) who have been bribed to throw 
a bout but wishing to make it look as if the opponent won 
legitimately would dive to the mat after being hit. This 
was to create the illusion of a legitimate knock out. 

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:  maudlin   MOD-lin  (adjective)

: Tearful; easily moved to tears; exciting to tears 

SYNONYMS: * sentimental 
          * overemotional 
          * lachrymose 

WORD WISE: Maudlin is an alteration of (Mary) Magdalene, who 
was in paintings often represented with eyes red and swollen 
from weeping. 

QUOTE: "He was a bad drunk and became maudlin and weepy and 
would often have to be carried home by his friends." 
--Barry Miles, Jack Kerouac King of the Beats: A Portrait 


                             *

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                             *


BONUS WORD OF THE DAY:  prescind   pri sind  (intransitive 
verb) 

: To detach the mind from something, typically a concept, 
notion, or fixed idea 

Mid-17th century. From Latin praescindere "to cut off in 
front," from scindere "to cut off." 



                  OBSCURE AND UNUSUAL WORDS
                  *************************

1)  chopsocky   chop sokee  (noun) 
    : the genre of movies in which martial arts feature 
    prominently 

    Formed from chop + sock 

2)  fantabulous   fan tabbyeless  (adjective) 
    : extremely good (humorous) 

    Mid-20th century. A blend of fantastic and fabulous. 


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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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