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Oddities News Archive - October 30, 2003

Murder, curses and demon cats. Statues descending from their pedestals for midnight minuets. There are scarier things than lawmaking going on inside the U.S. Capitol. Walk through the Rotunda late at night and the only sound might be the 180-foot-high iron dome creaking in the cool air.

Word of the Day
humgruffin
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'