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Word of the Day
 
October 20
 
farraginousAudio Pronunciation\fuh-RAJ-uh-nus\
 
DEFINITION
 
adjective
 
:
consisting of a confused mixture : formed of various materials in no fixed order or arrangement
 
EXAMPLES
 
 
The large box at the hotel’s lost and found desk contained a farraginous assortment of hats, umbrellas, cell phones, and other personal items.
 
"Like the Habsburg empire, the kingdom of Sweden encompassed a farraginous set of languages, including Swedish, Finnish, Latvian, Estonian, and German, the language of administration." — From the book A History of Modern Europe:  From the Renaissance to the Present (Third Edition), by John Merriman, 2009
 
DID YOU KNOW?
 
 
"Farraginous" is the adjective connected with "farrago," a word we featured in September. In Latin, the stem "farragin-" and the noun "farrago" both mean "mixture" or (specifically) "a mixture of grains for cattle feed." They derive from "far," the Latin name for spelt, a type of grain. In the 1600s, English speakers began using "farrago" as a noun meaning "hodgepodge" and "farraginous" as an adjective meaning "consisting of a mixture." The creation of the adjective was simply a matter of adding the adjectival suffix "-ous" to "farragin-" (although at least one writer had previously experimented with "farraginary," employing a different adjectival suffix).
 
Quick Quiz: What 6-letter word can mean "a mixture of different people or things" and also has a musical mixture sense? The answer is …
 
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