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[/url] some interesting word histories: Guillotine The GUILLOTINE is something that was invented to replace older and harsher methods of execution but it became a terror in itself. It was in fact the device of execution during the French revolution. When the French revolution took place and the National assembly came into power, it ordered the setting up of a committee that would come up with a better method of execution and wished to replace decapitation with a sword or axe. The committee formed included Dr. Antoine Louis and Dr. Joespeh-Ignace Guillotin as members of the committee. It is the latter’s name that the device guillotine borrows. The device chosen by the committee borrowed the traditional Italian and Scottish designs and added a very sharp and heavy blade to it. This blade, placed at a height, would decapitate instantly and with complete certainty. Read further on: http://wordpandit.com/2011/guillotine/ badger: How did this animal name come to be used as a verb? N the late 18th century, there was the common sport of badger-baiting in play. In this sport, dogs would be set upon badgers in an attempt to draw them from their burrows. The dogs would fight with them and eventually kill it. This “harassment” of innocent animals lent us the word “badger”. Thus, when a lawyer badgers a witness, he would force him or her into the corner till the time they agree to his version of events. Read further on: Badger : Badger : Annoying someone | Wordpandit bacchanalia: This is word of divine origin, with it being based on the name of the Roman God Bacchus. Bacchus is the Roman variant of the Greed god Dionysus. Dionysus, in Greek mythology, was the god of the winemaking and wine, and through the route of intoxication lead to ecstasy and liberation. And Bacchus takes over a similar role in Roman mythology. The term Bacchanalia is derived from the initiatory rites that were dedicated to Bacchus. In these ceremonies, there was an incorporation of carnality, sexually licentious behaviour, induced obviously through excessive drinking. Gradually, the cult of Bacchus drew the ire of the Roman authorities and more and more restrictions were placed on it. Read further on: Bacchanalia | Wordpandit Sybarite: Word History: Sybaris was an ancient Greek colony in Southern Italy. It was a flourishing trading centre, and its inhabitants put their considerable wealth to the service of unrestrained slef-indulgence. Their luxurious and debauched ways became a byword in the ancient world, and Greek Subarites ‘Inhabitant of Sybaris’ came to be synonymous with ‘pleasure-seeker,’, and also with ‘lecher’-both heterosexual and homosexual. The Englsih word has been derived from a Latin descendent, Sybarita, of the same and is rather toned down in comparison to the original word.