Printable Version
Pronunciation: sim-yê-lêr Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: Fake, counterfeit, false.

Notes: Today's Good Word is the adjective of the verb simulate, so we must be careful not to confuse it with similar "alike in many ways". Remember the U in the middle of this word and that it is pronounced like unaccented you: [yuh]. It is a near synonym of simulative, another adjective from the same verb. That verb is also responsible for simulation and simulator, anything that simulates another.

In Play: First and foremost let's make sure we can distinguish simular and similar: "While Creighton Barrel pretended to be a shipping manager at the packing plant, his brother-in-law, Will Doolittle, had a similar simular job with the railway company." Once we have that distinction under control, we can have fun with today's word: "Maude Lynn Dresser arrived in obviously simular hair that didn't match her eyebrows or the strands slipping out from under the wig."

Word History: Today's word is taken from Latin simulare "to simulate", a verb based on the adjective simul "at the same time". The root of simul can be seen again in simultaneous, also borrowed from Latin. It also appears in simplus "simple", which was sem- "one" + pel- "fold" in Latin's predecessor language. The root underlying the sem- "(as) one" in Latin came to English as the word same. In Russian it became sam "self", as in samizdat "self-publishing". In Greek, however, there is a tendency for initial S to become H, so in that language the word for "same" is homos. This root is visible in words borrowed from Greek, such as homogenize "make all the same" and homonyms "two words pronounced the same". (Today I would like to thank Dee Smith for the clever name, Creighton Barrel.)

Dr. Goodword,

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