Thursday, October 6, 2011


TileHead’s Word of the Day for 6 October 2011

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TEOCALLI  (n. pl. -S)

  1. (n.) an ancient temple of Mexico or Central America, usually built on a pyramid or pyramidal mound

Useful information for game players:
  • Front hooks: (none)
  • Back hooks: -S
  • Anagrams: LOCALITE
  • Longer extensions: (none)
  • Wraparounds: (none)
  • Other Spellings: (none)
  • Related Forms: TEOPAN (n.)

Pyramidal structures have been built in many times and places around the world, such as the pyramids of Egypt, the ZIGGURATS of the Middle East, and the TEOCALLIS of Mesoamerica.  The Aztec TEOCALLI was usually built in the shape of a squat, truncated pyramid and was often part of a larger complex called a TEOPAN: a walled enclosure containing a teocalli and other religious buildings.

Nahuatl was the language of the Aztecs, in which teotl means “god.”  This lofty root is a part of both TEOCALLI (“god house”) and TEOPAN (“god place”), as well as TEOSINTE (“god dried maize”): a tall annual grass of Mexico and Central America that is closely related to corn.  For more about Nahuatl contributions to English, see the HUIPIL entry.

This week’s theme: Words starting with the letter T

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