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September 26, 2019

Word of the Day: Jubilee

2 CQ

Word of the Day : December 15, 2016

jubilee \JOO-buh-lee\ noun


1 : (often capitalized Jubilee) a year of emancipation and restoration provided by ancient Hebrew law to be kept every 50 years by the emancipation of Hebrew slaves, restoration of alienated lands to their former owners, and omission of all cultivation of the land

2 : a special anniversary; especially : a 50th anniversary

3 : a period of time proclaimed by the Roman Catholic pope ordinarily every 25 years as a time of special solemnity

4 : a state of joy or rejoicing : jubilation

5 : a religious song of black Americans usually referring to a time of future happiness


My grandparents will be celebrating their golden jubilee this year—as Grandpa puts it, "50 years of wedded bliss and occasional blisters."

"Thousands gathered around Buckingham Palace Monday night to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's diamond jubilee with a gala concert that featured international superstars Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Elton John and Stevie Wonder, offering music from every decade of the queen's 60-year reign." — Mackenzie Carpenter, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 5 Jun. 2012

Did You Know?

According to Leviticus, every 50th year was to be a time when Hebrew slaves were set free, lands were given back to their former owners, and the fields were not harvested. This year of liberty was announced when a ram's horn was blown. In Hebrew, that ceremonial horn was called a yōbhēl, and the celebratory year took its name from that of the horn. As the Bible was translated into other languages, the concept of the yōbhēl spread around the world, as did its name (albeit with spelling modifications). In Latin, yōbhēl was transcribed as jubilaeus (influenced by Latin jubilare, meaning "to let out joyful shouts"). French-speakers adopted the word as jubilé, and English-speakers created jubilee from the French and Latin forms.

Aired December 15, 2016

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Jubilee is 50 years
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