August 12th, 2002


Word of the Day - "abecedarian"

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abecedarian \ay-bee-see-DAIR-ee-un\ adjective
     : of or relating to the alphabet
     : alphabetically arranged
     : rudimentary

Sample Usage:
     The children recited an abecedarian chant, beginning with "A is for apple" and ending with "Z is for zebra."

Did You Know?
     The history of "abecedarian" is as simple as ABC -- literally. The term's Late Latin ancestor, "abecedarius" (which meant "of the alphabet"), was created as a combination of the letters A, B, C, and D, plus the suffix "-arius"; you can hear the echo of that origin in the pronunciation of the English term (think "ABC-darian"). In its oldest documented English uses in the early 1600s, "abecedarian" was a noun meaning "one learning the rudiments of something"; it specifically referred to someone who was learning the alphabet. The adjective began appearing in English texts around 1665.

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