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totem

 


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for August 6, 2019 is:

totem • TOH-tum  • noun

1 a : an object (such as an animal or plant) serving as the emblem of a family or clan and often as a reminder of its ancestry; also : a usually carved or painted representation of such an object

b : a family or clan identified by a common totemic object

2 : one that serves as an emblem or revered symbol

Examples:

The Delaware Indians of eastern North America belonged to one of three groups whose totems were the turkey, the turtle, and the wolf.

“A totem reached the end of its life with a unifying ceremony after 65 years standing the grounds of Thunderbird Park. Members of First Nations … spoke to the significance of the Kwakwaka’wakw house post replica, which was built in 1954…. — Nicole Crescenzi, Victoria News, 31 May 2019

Did you know?

Totem comes to us from Ojibwa, an Algonquian language spoken by an American Indian people from the regions around Lake Superior. The most basic form of the word in Ojibwa is believed to be ote, but 18th-century English speakers encountered it as ototeman (meaning “his totem”), which became our word totem. In its most specific sense, totem refers to an emblematic depiction of an animal or plant that gives a family or clan its name and that often serves as a reminder of its ancestry. The term is also used broadly for any person or thing having particular emblematic or symbolic importance. The related adjective totemic describes something that serves as a totem, that depicts totems (“totemic basketry,” for example), or that has the nature of a totem.

 

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Ken Saunders

Freelancer, Gadget collector, Biohacker

Ken Saunders is a freelance writer, gadget collector and Biohacker. Kens’ professional background is in Information Technology as well as Health and Wellness. His experience has given him a broad base from which to approach many topics. He especially enjoys researching and writing articles on the topics of Technology, Food, and all things Freelancing. His articles have appeared in many online sites, including Lifehack.media, Andrew Christian, Alltherooms.com and Vocal.media.You can learn more about his services at http://www.ken-saunders.info.

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