Word of the Day : September 17, 2010

farrago

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noun fuh-RAH-goh

Definition

: a confused mixture : hodgepodge

Did You Know?

"Farrago" might seem an unlikely relative of "farina" (the mealy breakfast cereal), but the two terms have their roots in the same Latin noun. Both derive from "far," the Latin name for "spelt" (a type of grain). In Latin, "farrago" meant "mixed fodder" -- cattle feed, that is. It was also used more generally to mean "mixture." When it was adopted into English in the early 1600s, "farrago" retained the "mixture" sense of its ancestor. Today, we often use it for a jumble or medley of disorganized, haphazard, or even nonsensical ideas or elements.


Examples

The shop is filled with a whimsical farrago of artwork, antiques, and vintage clothing.

"So far, the excuses and explanations offered … for this fiasco have been a farrago of misleading and contradictory statements." -- From The Ottawa Sun, July 21, 2010




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