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An outbreak of public anger or excitement. French “fureur” < Latin “furere”=to rage, to be mad, angry.


A witty or sharp reply to a comment. Anglo-Norman “rejoindre”=a defendant’s answer to a claimant’s reply < “re-“=again” + “joindre”=to join.

A dance in which people move in a line while holding on to the person in front of them. American Spanish < Spanish “congo”=referring to anything from the Congo, a former kingdom on the west coast of Africa.

Shy and retiring, not wanting to draw attention to yourself; lacking in confidence. Latin “diffidere”=lacking in faith, trust, or confidence < “dif-“=prefix marking opposite + “fidere”=to trust.

Artificial and not as good as the real thing; a substitute of inferior quality. German “ersatz”=replacement, compensation < “ersetzan”=to replace.

One of a number of parts that make up a whole item – machine, system etc. Latin “componere”=to put together < “com-“=together + “ponere”=to put.

To make judgments and decisions by using logic and reason. Latin “ratiocinari”=to compare, calculate, reason < “ratio”=the act of thinking, reasoning < “rat-“=past participle of “reri”=to think, count.

Stubborn and unreasonable refusal to change your ideas or behavior. Spanish “los intransigentes” applied to the extreme Republicans in Spain during 1873-74 < Latin “in-“=not + “trans”=across + “agere”=to act.

A conference between opposing sides in an argument, often for the purpose of creating an end to a fight or war. Anglo-Norman “parler”=speech < Old French “parlee”=discussion.

A decoration that goes along the top of the walls of a room or a building. French “frise”=border, ornament < Latin “Phrygium”=something from Phrygia.

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