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Hello my little lambs, and thanks for being with me once again! Today I ask you to dig out your valuables, take down those old paintings, and find that weird tchotchke Nanna gave you for your sixteenth birthday, because who knows? It might be worth something. We may just find out as we explore today’s word: impignorate. Impignorate is a word meaning ‘to pawn or mortgage something’ and comes from the Latin ‘pignoration’, which is from ‘pignoratio’ from ‘pignerate’ meaning ‘to pledge’. For example, you might say, ‘I wish to impignorate this weird tchotchke from my Nanna, as I cannot tell whether it is a naked lady or a melted Empire State Building, and I would prefer the money in any case.’ Next time, perhaps think to clarify with your Nanna when she gives it to you. Robert Louis Stevenson, uses the word in what might be called a fair better example, used here in a letter to a friend from Honolulu in 1889: ‘I have got the yacht paid off in triumph, I think; and though we stay here impignorate, it should not be for long, even if you bring us no extra help from home.’ A similar word, ‘pawn’ means ‘to pledge, stake or wager’ comes from Middle French ‘pan’ meaning ‘pledge or security’ and is comparable to Middle Dutch ‘pant’, and Old High German ‘pfant’. Similarly, there is ‘hock’ meaning ‘to leave with a pawnbroker as security for a loan’, which comes from the Dutch word ‘hok’ meaning ‘hutch, hovel, jail, pen, or doghouse’. It’s also comparable to the Middle English ‘hukken’ meaning ‘to sell; peddle; sell at auction’. Anyone else ready for an episode of ‘Pawn Stars’, the reality TV series from 2009 that ran for a whole seventeen seasons? Yep, me too.  Isn’t language wonderful? Written by Taylor Davidson, Read by Zane C Weber Subscribe to us on ITUNES, STITCHER, SPOTIFY, or your podcatcher of choice. Find us on FACEBOOK or TWITTER Become a Patron of That’s Not Canon Productions at Patreon! Email us at [email protected]  

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