March 08, 2012
mascot (noun)
\MASS-kaht\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: a person, animal, or object supposed to bring good luck
How do you use it?
In his role as team mascot, Jeremy wears a badger costume and dances around on the sidelines during games, trying to rally school spirit.
Are you a word wiz?

Who do you think first personified a "mascot" as a "good luck charm"?

You're in luck if you picked B. "Mascot" was borrowed into English from the French "mascotte." The word "mascotte" was popularized by an 1880 French operetta called "La Mascotte," the title character of which is a young woman named Bettina whose influence brings victory to the army of the prince of Pisa. French "mascotte" traces back to "masca," meaning "witch" in Latin, and to "masco," meaning "sorceress" or "witch" in the Romance languages of southern France. From "masco" derived "mascoto," which meant "enchantment" or "charm," and which was borrowed into French as "mascotte." In modern French, "mascotte" narrowed in meaning to good luck charm.
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