Words at Play : Top 10 Most "Liked" Words of the Day

#8: Kismet

Definition:

fate

Example:

"Call it kismet or chemistry, but when hip-hop entrepreneur Russell Simmons met yoga instructor Porschla Coleman 10 months ago at a party in Atlanta, they instantly hit it off." – Lynette Holloway, Ebony, February 2008

About the Word:

Is it your fate to tie macrame while drinking coffee and eating sherbet in a minaret? That would be an unusual destiny, but if it turns out to be your kismet, you will owe much to Turkish and Arabic.

We borrowed kismet from Turkish in the 1800s, but it ultimately derives from the Arabic qisma, meaning "portion" or "lot."

Several other terms in our bizarre opening question (namely, macrame, coffee, sherbet, and minaret) have roots in those languages too. In the case of macrame and minaret, there is a little French influence as well. Coffee and macrame also have Italian relations, and sherbet has an ancestor in a Persian name for a type of cold drink.

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