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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
attercop
  • A spider.
  • Figuratively, a peevish, testy, ill-natured person.
'Attercop' comes from the Old English 'atorcoppe,' where 'atter' means 'poison, venom' and‎ 'cop' means 'spider.' 'Coppa' is a derivative of 'cop,' top, summit, round head, or 'copp,' cup, vessel, which refers to 'the supposed venomous properties of spiders,' says the OED. 'Copp' is still found in the word 'cobweb.'
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