Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Word of the Day for Tuesday July 5, 2005

nostrum \NOS-truhm\, noun:
1. A medicine of secret composition and unproven or dubious
effectiveness; a quack medicine.
2. A usually questionable remedy or scheme; a cure-all.

James is put to work at country fairs, promoting a quack
nostrum for pain relief.
--Patrick McGrath, "Heart of Ice," [1]New York Times, April
13, 1997

His hopeful message attracted an audience eager to believe
he had found the nostrum for all of society's ills.
--Warren Sloat, "Looking Back at 'Looking Backward': We
Have Seen the Future and It Didn't Work," [2]New York
Times, January 17, 1988

Old ladies were always offering her their advice,
recommending this or that nostrum.
--Charlotte Brontë, Shirley: A Tale

Nostrum comes from Latin nostrum (remedium), "our (remedy),"
from nos, "we."

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