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quarry

Printable Version
Pronunciation: kwah-ree Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. The object of pursuit, prey. 2. An open pit for mining stone. 3. A square or diamond-shaped flat object, such as a glass pane or tile, a quarrel, a four-sided arrowhead in archery.

Notes: Today we are getting three words for the price of one (and a very reasonable price it is). Quarry is actually a coincidentally identical spelling of three words with discrete meanings and histories. The second sense may be verbalized, as 'to quarry stone'. Don't forget to change the Y to I when forming the plural of the noun (quarries) and past tense of the verb (quarried).

In Play: The first word we are examining today may be used in sentences like this: "Every woman in the office is considered quarry by Phil Anders." The second Good Word refers to a pit, where water usually gathers: "As a kid we swam on weekends in an old abandoned quarry." The third word is mostly used in connection with stained glass windows: "When the church ran out of money, the contractor finished the stained glass windows with simple quarries."

Word History: The first of today's Good Words originated in Old French cuiriee "entrails of a deer placed on a hide given to dogs as a reward" from Old French coree, influenced by cuir "skin, hide". Coree came to French from Vulgar Latin corata "viscera", derived from Classical Latin cor, cordis "heart". The same PIE root came to English as heart, Spanish as corazón, Russian as serdce, and to French as cœur—which went into the English borrowings courage and cordial. The second word came from Middle English quarey borrowed from Anglo-French quarrere, a reduction of Vulgar Latin quadraria. This word was derived from Late Latin quadrus "hewn or squared stone", a word derived from Latin quadrum "square". The third word today probably came from the same source. (One of Dr. Margie Sved's quarries is outstanding Good Words like this one, which she recommended in the Alpha Agora.)

Dr. Goodword, alphaDictionary.com

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