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Pronunciation: -rê-dee Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. An artistic comedy created to ridicule something. 2. A travesty, something ridiculously bad.

Notes: Today's Good Word comes with an adjective, parodic, which can be extended to parodical. You may only add the adverb suffix, -ly, to the extension: parodically. To create the personal noun, we must drop the final Y and add -ist to get parodist.

In Play: The fundamental sense of parody is "comedy": "Mel Brooks's Spaceballs is a parody of futuristic science fiction films." However, anything you want to represent as horribly wrong can be conceived of as a parody: "The several US states currently have parodies of legislatures."

Word History: This word came to English, via French, from Latin parodia "parody", which borrowed it from Greek paroidia "burlesque song or poem". The Greek word comprises para "near, beside, about, around" (in the sense of "near, not real") + oide "song, ode", which English borrowed as ode. Para was a Greek preposition with a wide range of meanings: "alongside, about, beyond; contrary; abnormal". Greek inherited it from PIE per "forward, through". Latin kept it as per "through, across, by means of", which English picked off as is (as was?). English also inherited the PIE word from its Germanic ancestors as for and fore, as in before and forecast. In French it became pour "for", Portuguese and Spanish para and por "for", and German für "for". (Let us now offer our sincerest thanks to Jackie Strauss for suggesting today's very funny Good Word.)

Dr. Goodword,

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