Word of the Day : July 26, 2012




1 : the beach of a seaside resort

2 : a bright region on the sun caused by the light emitted by clouds of calcium or hydrogen and often associated with a sunspot

Did You Know?

If you've been lying on a resort beach contemplating the brightness of the sun, today's word is doubly appropriate. The history of "plage" begins with the Greek word "plagios," meaning "sideways" or "oblique," and then moves over to Late Latin as "plagia." It arrived on the shores of southern Italy in the form of Italian "piaggia" and was used of the beaches there. It became "plage" in French and coasted into the English language in 1888. The word acquired its "bright region of the sun" sense in the mid-20th century.


"Vying with Aquitaine for diversity within a single region, the Rhône-Alpes take you from plage to peak via a millennia or two of communities wonderfully wearing their history in their stones." - From an article by Simon Calder in The Independent (London), May 26, 2012

"Sunspots and other storm centers at the surface usually lie within vast regions of strong and tangled magnetic fields, called plages." - From an article by Robert Irion in Science, March 10, 2000

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