• anemocracy •
æ-ni-mahk-rê-si • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Noun
Meaning: (Rare) A government as changeable as the wind, as if blown by the wind.
Notes: Here is a word rarely used even though prominent anemocracies have existed throughout world history (see In play). This word is subject to all the derivations for -cracy: the adjective is anemocratic, adverb, anemocratically, and the personal noun would be anemocrat, someone who prefers anemocracy.
In Play: While today's word can refer to the constitutional form of governments: "Insurgents tested the solidity of the democracy, thinking that was only an anemocracy", we may also use it in reference to party control of that government: "Since 1945 Italy has been an anemocracy with 66 different governments."
Word History: Today's Good word was created from the English combining forms anemo-, copied from a Greek compound noun, consisting of anemos "wind" + -cracy, adapted from Greek -kratia "government". Anemos was what Greek made out of PIE anêm- "breathe, breath". Latin turned it into animus "mind, soul", Sanskrit into atman "soul", Irish into anam "soul", Breton into anaoun "soul", and German into atmen "to breathe". The relation of breathing to wind is preserved to this day in words like English windpipe and phrases like 'out of wind'. Greek -kratia was derived from kratos "strength, might", from PIE kar- "hard", source of English hard and German hart "hard". (William Hupy suggested anocracy, which appears in no dictionary except Wiktionary, but the discussion led me to try developing one myself. I found that the word was badly formed, but today's enchanting Good Word stood nearby in the Oxford English Dictionary.)
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