This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Friday, 13 September 2019

Word To Use Today: ostracon.

I love a really obscure word, and so I here give you the word ostracon.

(As a bonus, there's a word ostracod, too, but that's something completely different.*)

An ostracon is a potsherd (no, not someone who herds pots, but a broken piece of a pot used for writing on. It's an early example of recycling).

This one says Kimon Miltiades woz here, more or less.

 In Ancient Greece ostraca were used in voting, and if the vote went the wrong way some unlucky person would end up ostracised. That's the meaning of the word ostracon which non-archaeologists are known to use.

But only very very occasionally.

Word To Use Today: ostracon. This word comes from the Greek ostrakon, and is basically the same word as ostracise.

*Ostracod is any of the minute freshwater crustacea in the order Ostracoda, from the Greek ostrakon, meaning, in this case, shell.

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