Word of the day

The word for today is…

hysteria (noun) – 1. Behavior exhibiting excessive or uncontrollable emotion, such as fear or panic.
2. A group of psychiatric symptoms, including heightened emotionality, attention-seeking behavior, and preoccupation with physical symptoms that may not be explainable by a medical condition. The term hysteria is no longer in clinical use, and such symptoms are currently attributed to any of several psychiatric conditions, including somatic symptom disorder, conversion disorder, and histrionic personality disorder.

Source : The Free Dictionary

Etymology : Nervous disease, 1801, coined in medical Latin as an abstract noun from Greek hystera “womb,” from PIE *udtero-, variant of *udero- “abdomen, womb, stomach”. Originally defined as a neurotic condition peculiar to women and thought to be caused by a dysfunction of the uterus. With abstract noun ending -ia. General sense of “unhealthy emotion or excitement” is by 1839.

Bonus Word

clitoridectomy (noun) – 1. Surgical removal of all or part of the clitoris.
2. Female genital mutilation.

Etymology – 1866, from Greek klitorid- + -ectomy. Originally in reference to a proposed cure for hysteria.


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Peter is a fourth-generation New Zealander, with his mother’s and father’s folks having arrived in New Zealand in the 1870s. He lives in Lower Hutt with his wife, three cats and assorted computers.

His work history has been in the timber, banking and real estate industries, and he’s now enjoying retirement. He has been interested in computers for over thirty years and is a strong advocate for free open source software. He is chairman of the SeniorNet Hutt City committee.

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