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Antic Antique, Grotesque Grotto

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Judith in Newbury Park, California, shares a funny story about how she used to mispronounce the word grotesque with three syllables. This term, meaning strange or unnatural or absurdly exaggerated, goes back to Italian grottesca, having to do with caves, and refers to fantastical subterranean murals discovered in Roman ruins featuring strange and exaggerated figures. Thus grotesque is a linguistic relative of the word grotto. Another English term associated with those bizarre paintings is the word antic, from Italian antica, meaning old, and a relative of the English word antique. This is part of a complete episode.

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