Word of the Day.

Some of the most interesting, unusual words describe everyday things. Who would have thought that the fleshy, spongy, white thing inside an orange had a word for itself… and that it would share it with astronomers? Or that it would have the same ancestor as the words for an egg part, a photo book, or the smearing of a canvas?

What all these words have in common is whiteness or albus, Latin for white. Albumen is egg white, an album is a book with white pages, and when we daub a sheet of paper, we de-albus it.

albedo (al-BEE-doh) noun

1. The fraction of light reflected from a body or surface.
For example, earth’s albedo is around 0.39.

2. The white, spongy inner lining of a citrus fruit rind.

[From Latin albedo (whiteness), Latin albus (white).]

-Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)

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1 Comment

  1. ***Dave

    On a related note (to related words), Margie ran across something over the weekend pointing out how parkour (the free-running sport around the city) and “par course” exercise tracks come from the same French root.

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