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May 13, 2009

Word of the Day

  • calamari
  • audio pronunciation
  • \kah-luh-MAHR-ee\
  • DEFINITION

noun

: squid used as food

  • EXAMPLE

Ophelia tried fried calamari for the first time from a small seafood shack near the beach.

  • DID YOU KNOW?

The word "calamari" was borrowed into English from 17th-century Italian, where it functioned as the plural of "calamaro" or "calamaio." The Italian word, in turn, comes from the Medieval Latin noun "calamarium," meaning "ink pot" or "pen case," and can be ultimately traced back to Latin "calamus," meaning "reed pen." The transition from pens and ink to squid is not surprising, given the inky substance that a squid ejects and the long tapered shape of the squid's body. English speakers have also adopted "calamus" itself as a word referring to both a reed pen and to a number of plants.

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