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VENERY (n. pl. VENERIES)
- (n.) the practice or pursuit of sexual pleasure or intercourse; indulgence of sexual desire
- (n.) the practice or sport of hunting
Useful information for game players:
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How is it that VENERY means both “sexual pleasure” and “hunting”? Some have jokingly suggested that both activities are all about “the chase,” but the identical spelling of the two words simply stems from two similar-looking roots.
The Latin venus (“love, desire”) is behind the sexual meaning, as it is in the name Venus (originally, the Roman god of beauty and love) and in the word VENEREAL (related to the genital organs; relating to sexual desire). Meanwhile, the Latin venari (“to hunt”) is responsible for the hunting sense, as it is in VENISON, VENATIC (pertaining to hunting), and the phrase “terms of venery” for animal collective nouns (which was covered in the CLOWDER entry of last May).
While you might be tempted to hunt for more connections with other vener- words, neither of those roots should be confused with the Latin venerari (“to worship”), which is the source of words such as VENERATE, VENERABLE, and VENERATION.
Recapping this week’s love-struck words:
OEILLADE, AMORETTO, DULCINEA, and VENERY
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