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February 27, 2015

Strange But True!

Q. As one psychologist put it, without your body you're nobody. And without the human body, the English language would lose some of its color and richness. Can you name the body part and meaning related to the following, from Anu Garg's “A.Word.A.Day” web site: “cordate,” “amanuensis,” “impedimenta” and “spleen.”

A. Simply put, “cordate,” from the Latin for “heart,” means “heart-shaped,” as in “The cordate leaves were large and broad and ended in a single point” (Yann Mertel in “Life of Pi”). “Amanuensis” (uh-man-you-EN-sis), from Latin “manus” for “hand,” means “a person who takes dictation or copies manuscripts.” “Impedimenta” is defined as “baggage, supplies or equipment related to an activity or expedition, especially when regarded as slowing one's progress.” It derives from “ped” for “foot,” which also gives us “pedal,” “podium”, “octopus,” “impede,” “expediency,” and more.


 
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