Thursday, May 25, 2006

Georgics on my Mind: Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day

georgic \JOR-jik\ adjective

: of or relating to agriculture

Example sentence:
"Lanford Wilson has created yet another remarkable play... a fascinating tale of a georgic Midwestern community and the secrets lurking beneath the surface of its bucolic hum." (Adweek, March 25, 2004)

Did you know?
The adjective "georgic," which dates from the first half of the 18th century, derives by way of Latin "georgicus" and Greek "geōrgikos" from the Greek noun "geōrgos," meaning "farmer." That noun, in turn, was formed by a combination of the prefix "geō-" (meaning "earth") and "ergon" ("work"), the latter of which gave us words such as "allergy" and "ergonomics." The noun sense of "georgic," which dates from the early 16th century, refers to a poem that deals with the practical aspects of agriculture and rural affairs. The standard for such poems, Virgil's Georgics, is responsible for its name. The poem, written between 37 and 30 B.C., called for a restoration of agricultural life in Italy after its farms fell into neglect during civil war.

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.

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