Word of the Day : October 28, 2010

incognito

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adverb or adjective in-kahg-NEE-toh

Definition

: with one's identity concealed

Did You Know?

The ancient Greeks and Romans knew that there were times when you didn't want to be recognized. For example, a myth tells how Zeus and Hermes visited a village incognito and asked for lodging. The apparently penniless travelers were turned away from every household except that of a poor elderly couple named Baucis and Philemon, who provided a room and a feast despite their own poverty. The Romans had a word that described someone or something unknown (like the gods in the tale): "incognitus," a term that is the ancestor of our modern "incognito."

Test Your Memory: What is the meaning of "tendentious," our featured word from October 9, 2010? The answer is ...


Examples

The food critic made an incognito visit to the restaurant.

"[Mary, Queen of Scots] loved St. Andrews, where she kept a small vacation cottage and often stayed incognito, doing her own shopping and cooking, and playing golf along the links by the Firth of Forth." -- From an article by Sally Jenkins in The Washington Post, July 15, 2010




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