December 05, 2018
podium (noun)
\POH-dee-um\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: a raised platform especially for an orchestral conductor
How do you use it?
After the orchestra members were seated on the stage, the conductor took her place at the podium.
Are you a word wiz?

Which word do you think comes from the same root as "podium"?

Something to stand on and an egg-laying mammal with a bill like a duck's don't have much in common. But the words "podium" and "platypus" really do both trace to the same Greek root. That root word is "pod-" or "pous" meaning "foot." Ancient Greek speakers used it to form "podion," meaning "base," and referring to the bottom or foot of something, like an architectural column. "Podion" passed into Latin as "podium" and from there it was adopted into English. The foot in "platypus" has to do with the appearance of the animal's foot. Greek speakers combined "platys" meaning "wide, flat" with "pous" to make "platypous" meaning "flat-footed." "Platypous" was adopted into New Latin, a version of Latin used since the end of the medieval period especially in scientific description and classification. From there it entered English as "platypus."
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