Printable Version
Pronunciation: chæ-see, shæ-see Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. The framework of a machine or other mechanism, such as a car, an airplane's landing gear, or a computer. 2. Framework for electronic devices, such as radio, television, etc. 3. (Vulgar) A woman's body.

Notes: For some reason this word is pronounced correctly in the plural [chæseez] but spelled incorrectly. It is spelled the same as the singular, chassis, while other Latin borrowings ending on -sis are spelled -ses in the plural: basis : bases, analysis : analyses, thesis : theses. Chassied is an adjective meaning "having a chassis"; otherwise this word is an orphan.

In Play: This word basically refers to a framework: "Melvin was told by the body man at the garage that his car could not be repaired because the chassis was bent." Any kind of framework: "Donny Brooke got a radio call from a partner in the bombing squad that a bomb had been caught in his landing gear chassis."

Word History: Today's Good Word was snitched from French châssis "frame" from chasse "case, box, eye-socket", inherited and refitted from Latin capsa "box, case", which Czech borrowed as kapsa "pocket". Latin inherited the word from PIE kap- "to grasp, grab", source also of Sanskrit kapati "two handfuls', Greek kaptein "to gulp down", Latin capere "to grasp, understand", Albanian kap "to catch", Welsh caeth "captive", Irish cuan "harbor", Dutch hebben "to have" and haven "harbor", German Hafen "harbor", Haft "imprisonment", and haben "to have", and English have and haven. Latin captare "to capture" comes from the same source with all of its derivations that English borrowed. (Now a standing ovation to wordmaster Jackie Strauss of Philadelphia for today's Good Word, her 103rd since 2007.)

Dr. Goodword,

P.S. - Register for the Daily Good Word E-Mail! - You can get our daily Good Word sent directly to you via e-mail in either HTML or Text format. Go to our Registration Page to sign up today!