September 22, 2016
manacle (noun)
\MAN-ih-kul\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : a shackle for the hand or wrist : handcuff2 : something that prevents free action
How do you use it?
The prisoners' manacles were removed from their wrists and they were released into the sunlight, free again.
Are you a word wiz?

We're betting you can answer this with your hands tied behind your back: which of the following words do you think are related to "manacle"?

Give yourself a hand if you picked B! "Manacle" comes from "manus," the Latin word for "hand" and the ancestor of a number of English words. "Manual" is one "manus" descendant. That's not surprising, since one of the meanings of "manual" is "of, relating to, or involving the hands." It's also clear that "manus" had a hand in the origin of "manicure," the word for a beauty treatment for the hands and nails. One not-so-obvious "manus" word is the name of the tube-shaped pasta called "manicotti." "Manicotti" is originally Italian, the plural of "manicotto," meaning "muff," which is a warm tubular covering for the hands.
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