quincunx

Pronounced: KWIN-kuhnks, noun

Notes: You may be able to guess part of the meaning; it’s quite a fun word to say, so I’m hoping to find occasion to drag it into conversations


Yesterday’s word

The word binnacle is “a container for housing instruments on a ship’s deck, in a car’s dashbord, etc.

Background

The word came to us either from Old Portuguese bitácola or Old Spanish bitácula. These come from Latin habitaculum (dwelling place) from habitare (to inhabit). I was right in thinking that this was ship related, but wrong in thinking it was exclusively related to ships. It is entirely proper to refer to a car’s “instrument cluster” (which is what my car manual calls it) as a binnacle.

First usage

The word showed up in the early 1600s

Published by Richard

Christian, lover-of-knowledge, Texan, and other things.

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