Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for July 1, 2020 is:
farrago • fuh-RAH-goh • noun
: a confused mixture : hodgepodge
“Combining these plots is a terrible idea for multiple reasons. One is simply logistical; the fusion turns two improbable but engaging stories into a ludicrous farrago.” — Laura Miller, Slate, 8 Nov. 2019
“Although it’s hard to know anything for sure about North Korea, the fertilizer-plant photo suggests the reporting about Kim over the past few weeks was a farrago of misinformation, non-information, half speculation and outright guessing.” — Paul Farhi, The Washington Post, 5 May 2020
Did you know?
Farrago might seem an unlikely relative of farina (the name for the mealy breakfast cereal), but the two terms have their roots in the same Latin noun. Both derive from far, the Latin name for spelt (a type of grain). In Latin, farrago meant “mixed fodder”—cattle feed, that is. It was also used more generally to mean “mixture.” When it was adopted into English in the early 1600s, farrago retained the “mixture” sense of its ancestor. Today, we often use it for a jumble or medley of disorganized, haphazard, or even nonsensical ideas or elements.