• enode •
ee-nod • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Verb
Meaning: 1. Untie all knots, clear of knots, denodulate, straighten out (a rope, string, etc.) 2. Clarify, elucidate, straighten out, sort out.
Notes: Here is a word that all dictionaries (that carry it at all) agree is obsolete. It remains an interesting word because of its origin. It comes with an adjective, enodous "free of knots", and an action noun, enodation.
In Play: The original meaning of today's word was simply "untie": "Ransom enoded the rope on the gate and threw it open." Here is a sentence with both senses of today's word: "Herschel found it hard to enode his fishing line even though he was a champion at enoding riddles."
Word History: Today's Good Word is a touch-up of Latin enodare "to untie knots", comprising e(x) "(out) from, undo" + nodare "to knot". Nodare was derived from nodus "knot", which English also trimmed down to node. Latin inherited this word from PIE gned-/gnod- "to tie, bind", whence also Latin nectare "to tie, bind", the root of connectere "to tie, bind together". The PIE word also went into the making of Danish knude, Norwegian knut, Icelandic hnútur, German Knoten, Dutch knot, and English knot and knit. English also managed to squeeze net and nettle from the same PIE source. (Now let's thank Jeremy Busch, a member of the Good Word editorial board and avid Agoran, for seeing the fun in today's moribund Good word.)
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