Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Etymology Today from M-W: benison \BEH-nuh-sun or BEH-nuh-zun\
: blessing, benediction

"Benison" and its synonym "benediction" share more than a common meaning; the two words come from the same root, the
Latin "benedicere," meaning "to speak well of, bless." But which of the two words do you think has a longer history in English? If you guessed "benison," give yourself a pat on the back. Records show that "benison" has been used in our language since the 14th century, but "benediction" didn't appear in print until nearly a century later.

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