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Fri., Aug. 17, 2012, 3:46 a.m.

A Word A Day — georgic

August 17, 2012

Word of the Day

  • georgic
  • audio pronunciation
  • \JOR-jik\


: of or relating to agriculture

City slicker Brian was still getting used to the georgic lifestyle—particularly getting up at 4:30 each morning to milk the cows.

"During the last decade of the 1800s, the georgic rhythms and methods of cultivation continued very much as they had when Thomas Jefferson was president." — From Dennis K. Boman's 2012 book The Original Rush Limbaugh: Lawyer, Legislator, and Civil Libertarian


The adjective "georgic," which dates from the first half of the 18th century, derives by way of Latin "georgicus" and Greek "geōrgikos" from the Greek noun "geōrgos," meaning "farmer." That noun, in turn, was formed by a combination of the prefix "geō-" (meaning "earth") and "ergon" ("work"), the latter of which gave us words such as "allergy" and "ergonomics." There is also a noun "georgic" (dating from the early 16th century) which refers to a poem that deals with the practical aspects of agriculture and rural affairs. The standard for such poems, Virgil's Georgics, is responsible for its name. That poem, written between 37 and 30 B.C., called for a restoration of agricultural life in Italy after its farms fell into neglect during civil war.

From Merriam-Webster Online at

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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.