Word of the day

The word for today is…

albatross (noun) – 1. Any of several large web-footed birds constituting the family Diomedeidae, chiefly of the oceans of the Southern Hemisphere, and having a hooked beak and long narrow wings.
2. (a) A source of worry or distress.
(b) An obstacle to success.

Source : The Free Dictionary

Etymology : 1670s, probably from Spanish or Portuguese alcatraz “pelican” (16th century), perhaps derived from Arabic al-ghattas “sea eagle”; or from Portuguese alcatruz “the bucket of a water wheel” [OED], from Arabic al-qadus “machine for drawing water, jar” (from Greek kados “jar”), in reference to the pelican’s pouch (compare Arabic saqqa “pelican,” literally “water carrier”). Either way, the spelling was influenced by Latin albus “white.” The name was extended, through some mistake, by English sailors to a larger sea-bird (order Tubinares).

Albatrosses were considered good luck by sailors; figurative sense of “burden” (1936) is from Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” (1798) about the bad luck of a sailor who shoots an albatross and then is forced to wear its corpse as an indication that he, not the whole ship, offended against the bird. The prison-island of Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay is named for pelicans that roosted there.

48%
×