• sundry •
Part of Speech: Adjective, Noun
Meaning: 1. Several, more than a few. 2. Various, miscellaneous, diverse, not of the same kind.
Notes: This useful word may be used as a noun in the plural, sundries "miscellaneous items", often seen over dime stores in the past. For those unfamiliar with the dime store, they were also called 5-and-10 cent stores, stores where nothing cost more than 10 cents. The few that remain are called dollar stores today, offering fewer and fewer sundries as time teases prices higher.
In Play: This Good Word goes back to a root meaning "cut up", so it first referred to several different things: "Leticia, the reasons for leaving Phil Anders are far too sundry to enumerate in the course of a single day." It is used today, however, most often to refer to diverse, unrelated objects: "When Cedric's cigar ash ignited Reginald's tuxedo on the way to the cotillion, Cedric was sprayed with sundry epithets I cannot repeat in mixed company."
Word History: Today's word goes back to Old English sundrian " to split apart", based on Old English sundor "apart", still around in two forms, sunder "to break apart" and asunder "apart", as to cleave the pot roast asunder. The same PIE root also produced Latin sine "without", Sanskrit sanutar "to break apart or in two", and the German conjunction, sondern "but", probably from an intermediate sense, "apart from that".
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