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The sword theme can wait.

Those who participate in our board know that Morgan, one of our founding members, is going through very difficult times with a poise and grace that inspire us all. We'll devote a week to words in her honor.

The root sense of "morgan" is "morning".

morgan -- a unit of measurement of land area, still in use in South Africa, equal to just over 0.85 hectare (2 acres)
[from Dutch and German, with the sense "area of land that can be plowed in a morning."]
 
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In legend, one of King Arthur's enemies was his sister, the sorercess Morgan le Fey. From her comes today's word.

fata morgana - a mirage in the literal sense; that is, an optical phenomenon that creates the illusion of water
 
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homorganic - used to describe speech sounds that are formed at the same point in the vocal tract.
Examples are the bilabials "p," "b," "m," and "w," which are all formed using both lips pushed together.
 
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Evic has found a great morgan word. So let's send it as the word of the day, to those who don't see this board. Says he:

morganatic - usually used for describing a special kind of marriage involving royal folks - adj. Of or pertaining to a legal marriage between a person of royal or noble birth and a partner of lower rank, in which no titles or estates of the royal or noble partner are to be shared by the partner of inferior rank nor by any of the ofspring of the marriage.

Read that Edward VIII proposed such an arrangement re Mrs. Wallis Simpson but was nixed by both houses and his mother - and hence his abdication of the throne "for the woman I love".
 
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Our readers are good wordcrafters!

morganite – a rose-colored gem variety of beryl. [1911; after financier J. P. Morgan ]

morgan - unit of inferred distance between genes on a chromosome

[re-posted, to clean up errors]
 
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Shamefaced confession: the first word of this theme – the land-measurement of about 2 acres – is morgen, not morgan.

Our final "morgan-word" has two very different meanings, each from a historic event. The first definition comes from OED; only a few other on-line dictionaries include it at all, and those few have it wrong. The second meaning is far more common in the google-seaches, but I've not found it in any dictionary.

morganize¹ – says OED: to assassinate secretly in order to prevent or punish disclosures
[Wordcrafter note: I believe the word includes "to kidnap" for the same purpose.]

After the notorious 1826 case of William Morgan, in upstate New York. Morgan, a disgruntled Freemason, announced that he would publish a book describing the activities of the Mason's secret society. The Masons kidnapped him to prevent publication, and held him at Fort Niagara (which is very need the home of our friend Morgan on this board). Soon after he disappeared, never to be seen again; presumably he was murdered. The kidnappers were tried and given minimal punishment.

The affair sparked strong resentment of secret societies, and the resentment coalesced into a major political party in New York and nearby states. It became a force in national politics, and even fielded a presidential candidate in 1928, before it eventually melding into an older party.

morganize² – to acquire control of an entire industry, for profit
[after financier J.P. Morgan]

quote:
He recapitalized so many bankrupt railroads -- Morganized them, as wits said -- that by the 1890s he controlled one-sixth of America's railway system.
Ron Chernow, biographer, on Time Magazine website.

Another website adds: Morgan had morganized about one-sixth of all the tracks in the nation. The extent of Morgan's power can be better appreciated by the fact that nearly 60 percent of the companies traded at the time on the New York Stock Exchange were railroads.

Note: For more on the William Morgan affair, see http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Morgan_(anti-Mason) -- but note that when you click the link your browser may change the open- and close-parenthesis in the URL; you'll have to correct them manually. Or see mason publications.

[This message was edited by wordcrafter on Mon Sep 29th, 2003 at 9:11.]
 
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This has been a very busy week for me. My husband and I renewed our wedding vows and I have not had the time to come online to check out this theme. I am honored and thank you for your wonderful love and inspiration here.
 
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