ersatz_read (ersatz_read) wrote in 1word1day,
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Monday word: virago

virago (v-räg, -r-, vîr-g), noun
1. A loud, domineering woman.
2. A woman of great stature, strength, and courage.

Etymology:  14th century, from Latin virago, from vir, "man".  Think "virile".

Definition #1 has a synonym:  termagant, defined as "an overbearing, nagging woman; a shrew".

Definition #2 appears to have come first, with origins in ancient Greece and Rome, and refers to a woman who has heroically exceeded what was thought possible for her gender.  More details at the the ever-handy Wikipedia.

This word (as definition #1) appeared in the most recent Doctor Who episode ("The Crimson Horror").
Tags: latin, noun, v, wordsmith: ersatz_read
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