Today’s “Word of the Day” from Merriam-Webster is “crucible.”  I like to see if I can guess at the etymological origin of the words. My guess for “crucible” was founded on the Latin cruc (“cross”). Alas it was not. It is based on the Medieval Latin crucibulum, a noun for an earthen pot used to melt metals, and in English it first referred to a vessel made of a very heat-resistant material (such as porcelain) used for melting a substance that requires a high degree of heat. But It’s possible that the resemblance between cruc- and crucible encouraged people to start using crucible to mean “a severe trial,” as that sense is synonymous with one meaning of cross.

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