Sunday, June 01, 2008

A is for Adit

All of you crossword puzzlers (cruciverbalists) out there will know this word for a mine entrance—adit—because it's a fine crossword building block—two common consonants that work as a first, last or middle letter and two vowels. It fits nicely into a crossword puzzle.
If you don't do crosswords, you may never have run across this word. You're welcome!
(I found out from my trusty dictionary that the word adit means specifically "an almost horizontal mine entrance" and that it comes from the Latin aditus, access, past participle of adire, to approach from ad, to, toward and ire, to go.)
Trivial side note: Ad was one of the first words we learned in first-year Latin. We learned it as "ad with the accusative," indicating the case for the object of the preposition. The prefix ad- in English is one of those useful "bits and pieces" that help us figure out the meaning of a word when no dictionary is handy (heaven forbid that should happen very often!).
Orig: 6/1/08


Bonnie said...

Ok ~ I am a cruciverbalist ! And although I haven't cruciverbalized in a while, I've never run across this word adit. I shall file it away though for future reference !

cKc--aka Kathy said...

So, maybe I'm dense, but I wouldn't find ad- a handy bit to define a word should I be temporarily dictionarily destitute; did you say what it meant in English, or does ad- in English always mean that preposition thing you said (that I can't go back and look at lest I send THIS comment to bla-la-land!)?I might surmise from your previous paragraph that it means "to"...yes? Fascinating posts all, though!