realia was our Word of the Day on 01/11/2013. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Did You Know?
Realia, was first used in the late 19th century, and is still mostly used in the classroom by teachers, especially foreign language teachers. It is also used in library cataloguing (in reference to such bizarre things as an author's hair and teeth donated posthumously) and occasionally finds its way into other contexts as well. You might, for example, hear of someone putting "realia"-objects that represent present-day life-in a time capsule. "Realia" is also sometimes used philosophically to distinguish real things from the theories about them-a meaning that dates to the early 19th century. "Realia" is one of those plural formations without a corresponding singular form. Like "memorabilia" ("memorable things" or "mementos"), "juvenilia" ("works produced in an artist's or author's youth"), and "marginalia" ("marginal notes or embellishments"), it incorporates the Latin plural ending "-ia."
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up realia? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).