Word of the day: Moiety

by Janie Jones

I’m usually pretty good with vocabulary.  But there is a word I just can’t seem to wrap my brain around.

Apparently moiety means one of two parts or one of the parts something can be divided into.  It’s used in chemistry and biology as in this glycolipid molecule has a lipid moiety.  I especially like how Vocabulary.com defines it:

A moiety is one of two equal parts. If you cut a sandwich in half, you can have one moiety for lunch and give the other moiety to a pigeon. 

I have no idea where the pigeon came from, nor why I should give it half my lunch.  But it goes on with a more rational explanation:

One moiety plus one moiety equals a whole. Moiety is a synonym for the noun half; a semicircle or your better half can be referred to as a moiety. In anthropology, moiety is used to describe one of two distinct groups of a tribe. Moiety can also mean “a part” in general, as Shakespeare used it in Antony and Cleopatra: “The death of Antony / Is not a single doom; in the name lay / A moiety of the world.”

And if you are less familiar with the word than I, you can even go to Vocabulary.com and listen to the pronunciation.

So, that was educational.  And, now we are all ready for that Jeopardy question where we have to answer, “What is moiety, Alex.”  Still when I think of the word and read it in texts and articles, my mind grinds to a halt.  I *know* what it means, but my brain refuses to compute it.

Well, I hope the larger moiety of your day is good.

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