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Dr. Goodword
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Postby Dr. Goodword » Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:55 pm

• camarilla •

Pronunciation: kæm-ê-ri-lê • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. A cabal; a clique, often secret, of unofficial advisors. 2. Any covert or secretive party of intriguers.

Notes: Today's Good Word arose in reference to the circle of cronies that surrounded King Ferdinand VII, who ruled Spain from 1814 to 1833. However, it is equally applicable today in English, which uses the rather awkward phrase 'kitchen cabinet' to refer to essentially the same thing.

In Play: Usually a camarilla surrounds someone in a position of power: "The boss never listens to our complaints; he only listens to his personal camarilla of self-indulgent sycophants." Now, power may be interpreted in many ways: "Gilda Lily and her snooty camarilla glided past Mortimer, giggling as though they knew something no one else did."

Word History: Camarilla is a diminutive of Spanish cámara "room" meaning "small room". It is based on Late Latin camera "chamber" from Classical Latin camera "vault". Latin borrowed the word from ancient Greek kamara "an object with a vaulted cover, top, or ceiling". The Latin word went into the making of quite a few words that English borrowed. French turned it into chambre "room", which we quickly snatched. English also grabbed the original, camera, shortened from camera obscura "dark chamber", when a camera was just that, a box with a pinhole that allowed an upside-down picture to be projected on its back to be traced. Comrade comes from Spanish camarada "a company of soldiers lodging together" (literally "a roomful") and, later, a member of such a company. (Our gratitude today is due Douglas Schulek-Miller, a member of Dr. Goodword's rather large and nonsecretive camarilla of word suggesters, for submitting today's Good Word.)
• The Good Dr. Goodword

Perry Lassiter
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Re: Camarilla

Postby Perry Lassiter » Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:44 pm

Camarilla and kitchen cabinet reminds me of the privy councils, judges in camera, and -of course - camaraderie. I did wonder in passing whether the word originated with "cama" or bed, referring to a bedroom cabinet as it were.

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Re: Camarilla

Postby Pepshort » Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:09 am

For an incredibly remote connection to today's word -- what does Bob Hope have to do with Camarilla?
"Luke, there is no try, there is either do or not do" -- Yoda

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Re: Camarilla

Postby MTC » Wed Sep 04, 2013 7:28 pm

Pepshort wrote:For an incredibly remote connection to today's word -- what does Bob Hope have to do with Camarilla?

"Bob Hope" is a character in the Camarilla Wiki Project:

MTC is the name
Remote is the game

P.S. Interesting link, Perry, between camarilla and camaraderie. You mentioned privy council. What about star chamber?

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