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12 September 2008 @ 01:17 am
M-W's WOD  
I know I've been a "wordy" girl lately, but there have been some good ones on my lists and they are way more cheerful than my posts with Real Life content. :P


arcanum   \ar-KAY-num\   noun
    *1 : mysterious or specialized knowledge, language, or information accessible or possessed only by the initiate -- usually used in plural
     2 : elixir

Example sentence:
     The author, a physicist, adeptly demystifies arcana of her field with lucid, accessible prose.

Did you know?
     The word "arcanum" (pluralized as "arcana") came from Latin "arcanus," meaning "secret," and entered English as the Dark Ages gave way to the Renaissance. It was often used in reference to the mysteries of the physical and spiritual worlds, subjects of heavy scrutiny and rethinking at the time. Alchemists were commonly said to be pursuing the arcana of nature, and they sought elixirs for changing base metals into gold, prolonging life, and curing disease. The frequent association of the word with the alchemists' elixirs influenced the use of "arcanum" for "elixir."
Current Mood: geekygeeky
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