Word of the day

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atavism (noun) – 1. The reappearance of a characteristic in an organism after several generations of absence.
2. An individual or a part that exhibits atavism. Also called throwback.
3. The return of a trait or recurrence of previous behavior after a period of absence.

Source : The Free Dictionary

Etymology : The Latin noun behind the English noun atavism is atavus ?great-great-great grandfather; ancestor.? Atavus is formed from atta ?daddy,? a nursery word widespread in Indo-European languages, e.g., Greek ?tta ?daddy,? and the possibly Gothic proper name Attila ?little father, daddy.? The second element, avus ?(maternal) grandfather,? also has cognates in other Indo-European languages, e.g., Old Prussian (an extinct Baltic language related to Latvian and Lithuanian) awis ?uncle,? and, very familiar in English, those Scottish and Irish surnames beginning with ?O?,? e.g., O?Connor ?descended from Connor?). The Celtic ?O?? comes from Irish ? ?grandson,? from early Irish aue, and appearing as avi ?descendant of? in ogham (an alphabet used in archaic Irish inscriptions from about the 5th century). Atavism entered English in the 19th century.

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