Pronounced: bath-uh-FOE-bee-uh, noun

Notes: I went for the obvious (fear of taking a bath) and that’s not right

Yesterday’s word

The word quincunx refers to an arrangement of five things in a rectangle (or square) with four of the ‘things’ at each corner and one in the middle.

Background / Comments

This word comes to us from ancient Rome: they had a coin called the quincunx, which comes from quinque (five) and uncia (one twelfth). Their coin weighed five twelfths of a libra. They used a pattern of five dots, arranged like the five dots on a die as a symbol of the coin. English users adopted it for anything in this pattern. You may have noticed, as I did, the “quin” part of the word and thought that it was related to “five”, and you were right.

First usage

This word came into English in the mid-1600s

Published by Richard

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

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