01 Nov 2010
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The hot word

This section of the widely used online dictionary is a delight for trivia freaks. Maintained partly as a blog and partly as an online forum, it explains the meaning and origin of words that crop up in the news, or are queried by the puzzled or curious. Each day, a new ‘hot word’ is selected and unravelled. On the day we looked, a British newspaper story about a woman who fended off a bear using a courgette prompted questions from American readers, who know them as zucchini, as to what this remarkable weapon was. (Apparently it was a pretty big vegetable, and throwing it in the bear’s face was enough to scare it off.) hotword.dictionary.com

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