zeugma ZOOG-muh noun, to vote is to pray (& to prey?)

Word of the week: zeugma ZOOG-muh noun. Date: 1523: the use of a word to modify or govern two or more words usually in such a manner that it applies to each in a different sense or makes sense with only one (as in “opened the door and her heart to the homeless boy”).
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Pretty neat. I also like suffrage. From m-w.com’s word of the day, August 26, 2003:

Why would a 17th-century writer warn people that a chapel was only for “private or secret suffrages”? Because since the 14th century, “suffrage” has been used to mean “prayer” (especially a prayer requesting divine help or intercession). So how did “suffrage” come to mean “a vote” or “the right to vote”? To answer that, we must look to the word’s Latin ancestor, “suffragium,” which can be translated as “vote,” “support,” or “prayer.” That term produced descendants in a number of languages, and English picked up its senses of “suffrage” from two different places. We took the “prayer” sense from a Middle French “suffragium” offspring that emphasized the word’s spiritual aspects, and we elected to adopt the “voting” senses directly from the original Latin.

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Filed under musings, politics, words

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