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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can anybody help?, 14 Aug. 2012
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This review is from: Dictionary of Word Origins (Hardcover)
I have only glanced inside at one word, " ostracise."
I had understood from my schooldays, 50+ years ago, that this word was derived from the Greek for "oyster"; that votes were made on plentiful, and otherwise useless,oyster shells.
I had assumed this useful practice had died out with the lack of oysters interfering with democratic rights.
This book says that the word derives from the Greek for, "potsherd" [the"sherd" I remember as being Arabic for "pot"; is "shard" related?]
If so, there is no reason, whatsoever, to not bring back ostracism: with arthritis I find I create more potsherds than I could possibly use.
Can anyone expand on this, please?
Excuse me while I dig in further: "hoodlum,"due to a type-setter's error with the name,"Muldoon,"spelt backwards.
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