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2008-06-08 18:00:21

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan _ It began with an errant dog, and it's now culminated with the forced betrothal of 15 little girls, some of them as young as three, as compensation in a case of tribal feuding in a remote part of Pakistan. It's thought that around 20 people have died in the bitter quarrel, and the marriage offer of the girls is meant to end the bloodletting. Under a brutal custom, called Vani, the girls are being traded as settlement of a long-running dispute between two tribes. This...


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.'