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A cruel, rough, insensitive, or violent person. French “brut” < Latin “brutus”=heavy, dull, irrational.


A wine shop or cellar; a small grocery store in an Hispanic neighborhood. Spanish “bodega” < Latin < “apotheca” < Greek “apotheke”=a store.

A fortress usually located on high ground above a city. Italian “citadella” < “citta”=city + “ella”=diminutive (little city) < Latin “civitas”-community, state.

A symbol (~) found above Spanish vowels indicating a “nj” sound. Spanish “tilde’ < Latin “titulus”=an inscription (title) above an object labeling it.

A hillock; a wooded rise; a sand bank. Old English “hyrst” < Old Germanic “*hurstiz”=hill, thicket, sandy eminence. Common in place names e.g. Amherst, Hurst Green.

A long, angry and critical speech. French “tirade”= a pull, shot, or volley < Italian “tirata”=volley < “tirare”=to pull.

To move quietly and secretly in order to avoid being noticed. Uncertain origin, possibly Old English “snican”=to creep or crawl.

A small group of people with shared interests or tastes. French “coterie”=a group of peasant land-holders < Latin “coterius”=tenant.

A legal claim that someone has on another person’s property until a debt has been paid. Old French “loien” < Latin “ligamen”=bond < “ligare”=to tie, bind.

Of a person, big, strong, and heavily built. Middle English “borlich”=imposing, stately, noble

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