Do You Have Remora in Your Life?

Do You Have Remora in Your Life?

The word of the day for Saturday, January 21st, 2012 on dictionary.com was remora. This word is pronounced [rem-er-uh]. Though related phonetically, this word has quite a different meaning than, better known word, remorse.

The first definition means that this word refers to a hindrance, obstacle or obstruction. The second definition has quite a different meaning. You have to love the English language.

The second definition refers to scientific context with regards to a type of spiny-finned fish that constitutes the family Echeneididae. They have, (believed by the ancients) on top of their head a type of vessel or sucking disk that allows them to attach to larger fish, rocks, turtles, ships, sharks or any other object of motion in their marine living environment.

Remora was first used in book: The History of the Life and Reign of William the Fourth, by Robert Huish. In context, Huish stated that while extremely unpopular (in the public eye) as a soldier, there was no remora to the Duke of Kent’s employment.

Walter D. Mignolo’s Local Histories/Global Designs: Coloniality, Subaltern Knowledges, and Border Thinking also made mention of remora. In this book he states that all cultures coexist today in diachronic contradictions. What coexists is the colonial remora of Bolivian history, colonized victims and the differing opinions and articulations of colonizing forces.

This word is archaic and was likely formed in 1560-70. It was derived from the Latin word: remorārī, which literally means to linger or to delay. To learn more about this word, go here.