Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day (prettygoodword) wrote in 1word1day,
Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day


glanders (GLAN-derz) - n., a contagious disease of equines characterized by swellings beneath the jaw and a profuse mucous discharge from the nostrils.

Communicable to other animals, including humans, which is why I found this medieval term in a glossary of terrorism (as a potential biological warfare agent). Caused by a bacterium called either Pseudomonas mallei or Burkholderia mallei. First used around 1480, borrowed from French glandre(s), swollen glands, from Latin glandulae, swollen glands, from glāns, acorn + -ule, diminutive suffix. Yes, that's right, those glands of yours are literally acorns in Latin -- just as your muscles are little mice (mūs + -ule) under your skin. But getting back to glanders, I first encountered the word in 1066 and All That, so I'll use that as my example usage -- it's from a list of the VIII wives of Henry VIII:

"Anne of Cloves, whom he had on approval from Belgium and sent back on discovering that she was not really a queen at all but a “fat mare with glanders.""

Tags: french, g, latin, noun

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