warison was our Word of the Day on 10/29/2007. Hear the podcast!
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Did You Know?
When Sir Walter Scott first encountered the word warison around the beginning of the 19th century, it was a rare word that had been around for six centuries, occasionally used to mean either "wealth or possessions" or "reward." In his 1805 poem The Lay of the Last Minstrel, Scott used the word to refer to a bugle call ordering soldiers to attack, probably because he misinterpreted what the word meant when he read it in "The Battle of Otterbourne," a ballad found in Thomas Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry. The original word (which Scott encountered as Middle English "waryson") derives from the Anglo-French garisun, which means "healing, protection" and is also the source of the English word garrison, meaning "a military post."
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