Word for Wednesday: Genuine

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What does the word genuine have in common with your knee? More than you might think! 

The Spellzone dictionary defines genuine as ‘sincerely felt or expressed’ or ‘not fake or counterfeit’. 

Here is the word used in some example sentences: 

  • It is vital to check that your news sources are genuine.
  • She felt genuine affection towards her new puppy. 
  • He wanted to know if the belt was made of genuine leather. 

The word has been used in English since the 1590s and comes from the Latin ‘genuinus’ meaning ‘native, natural, innate’. Those who know the word ‘genuflect’ may be able to guess at the connection between the words genuine and ‘knee’. ‘Genuflect’ describes the act of ‘bowing by bending one’s knee’ and, like genuine, derives from ‘genu’ – the Latin for ‘knee’. 

One theory is that this comes from the ancient Roman custom of fathers acknowledging paternity of a newborn by placing the baby on his knee. It was a gesture that demonstrated he felt himself to be the true – or genuine – father of the child. 

21 Oct 2019
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"Spellzone fits in beautifully with our Scope and Sequence of Phonological Awareness and Spelling. It also aligns perfectly with the four areas of spelling knowledge and uses the Brain, Ears, Eyes approach to learning spelling."
Thank you!

Teacher, Australia