omnium-gatherum's Word of the Day



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The Word of the Day for July 21 is:

omnium-gatherum \ahm-nee-um-GA-thuh-rum \ (noun)
: a miscellaneous collection (as of things or persons)

Example sentence:
The book, a collection of short stories, is an omnium-
gatherum of works by various writers.

Did you know?
English abounds in Latin phrases. They roll off the
learned tongue like peas off a fork. "Tabula rasa"; "ab ovo";
"a posteriori"; "deus ex machina"; "ex cathedra"; "mea culpa";
"terra firma"; "vox populi"; "ad hominem"; "sub rosa" -- our
Word of the Day has featured all of those! "Omnium-gatherum"
belongs on that list too, right? Not exactly. "Omnium-gatherum"
sounds like Latin, and indeed "omnium" (the genitive plural of
Latin "omnis," meaning "all") is the real thing. But "gatherum"
is simply English "gather" with "-um" tacked on to give it a
classical ring. We're not suggesting, however, that the phrase
is anything less than literate. After all, the first person
known to have used it was John Croke, a lawyer educated at Eton
and Cambridge in the 16th century.

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