• enclave •
en-klayv, ahng-klayv • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Noun
Meaning: 1. A portion of a country or territory distinct from its surroundings. 2. A culturally distinct population living in such a territory.
Notes: Today's Good Word is French in the process of Anglicization. We can either pronounce the first syllable in English or French, but the accent is strictly English. Enclaved is an adjective meaning "having (an) enclave(s)" or "living in an enclave". No dictionary lists enclave as a verb.
In Play: An enclave can be a geographical area: "As soon as Petrov had the wherewithal, he ensconced himself in an exclusive green and leafy gated enclave of New Monia." It can also be a culturally defined territory: "Its world reputation as a wellspring of jobs turned New York at the turn of the 20th century into a city of immigrants living in many ethnic enclaves."
Word History: Today's Good Word was taken from French enclave, the noun from Old French enclaver "enclose, include", inherited from Late Latin inclavare "shut in, lock up". The Latin verb comprises in "in" + clavis "key", which Latin inherited from PIE kleu-/klou- "hook", source also of English claw and German Klaue "claw, cleat". We also find Ancient Greek kleis "key", Latin clavis "key" (which we see in clavichord), Welsh clo "lock", Irish glas "lock", Russian and Serbian klyuch "key", Polish klucz "key", Russian klyuv and Serbian kljun "beak, bill"—all from the same PIE source. (Now a bow of gratitude to Ana Jung of our enclave of contributors, an avid donor of vibrant Good Words just like today's.)
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