Word of the Day : April 15, 2017
pittance \PIT-unss\ noun
: a small portion, amount, or allowance; also : a meager wage or remuneration
"… chances are good that any snow that might fall in coming days could be like the pittance of flakes that fell Thursday—and then almost immediately melted." — Neil Johnson, The Janesville (Wisconsin) Gazette, 11 Mar. 2017
"It's a setup worthy of Sherlock Holmes: a museum acquires a work of art for a pittance, not quite realizing what it has on its hands, only to discover, quite casually, that the piece in question is a long-lost work by a canonical artist." — Kirkus Reviews, 24 Feb. 2017
Did You Know?
It's a pity when you haven't anything but a pittance. And in fact, pity and pittance share etymological roots. The Middle English word pittance came from Anglo-French pitance, meaning "pity" or "piety." Originally, a pittance was a gift or bequest to a religious community, or a small charitable gift. Ultimately, the word comes from the Latin pietas, meaning "piety" or "compassion." Our words pity and piety come from pietas as well.
Aired April 15, 2017
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