a long, narrow indentation of the seacoast.
Firth “a long, narrow indentation of the seacoast” is a Middle English adaptation of the Old Norse term fjǫrthr (stem firth-), which became Norwegian fjord and was later borrowed into modern English. In this way, firth and fjord are doublets, which are pairs or groups of words in a language that are derived from the same source but through different routes. Other doublets in English include plant and clan (both from Latin planta “scion, plant,” but the latter via Irish Gaelic) as well as apothecary, bodega, and boutique (all from Ancient Greek apothḗkē “shop”). Recent Word of the Day gramarye, for example, is a doublet of both glamour and grammar; all three words come from Old French gramaire “grammar” but through different routes. Firth was first recorded in English in the early 1400s.
It’s not the open sea we are making for, but a firth, a long inlet off the north sea, where wintering geese, ducks and swans find shelter and food and which is often graced by the presence of dolphins. We go round by the head of the firth and emerge onto the road which runs close to the shore.
Some rivers terminate without passing through any firth or estuary, and are lost in the open ocean almost as soon as they touch the salt water; others only join the ocean through a firth, or through a land-locked valley, where the fresh and salt waters meet.
unselfishly concerned for or devoted to the welfare of others.
Altruistic “unselfishly concerned for or devoted to the welfare of others” is formed from the altru- element in the term altruism plus the adjectival suffix -istic. Altruism, based on literary French autrui “others,” ultimately comes from Latin alter “(of two) the other,” which is also the source of English words such as alteration, altercation, and alternation, all of which involve a change into or an exchange with another entity, version, or individual. Altruistic behaviors, such as helping those in need, are often contrasted with egoistic behaviors, which prioritize a person’s own desires over the needs of others. While egoism, also known as egotism, is selfishness, altruism is selflessness. Altruistic was first recorded in English in the early 1850s.
Ethics asks us to critically reflect on our judgments to determine the right thing to do. When Dr. Martin Luther King in his 1963 sermon concluded that to be a good neighbor was to be altruistic, he asked us to be willingly obedient to unenforceable obligations.
surrounding a star.
Circumstellar “surrounding a star” is a compound of the element circum- “around” and the adjective stellar “of or relating to the stars.” Circum- comes from Latin circus “circle,” which is the source of English terms such as circa, circle, circular, circumference, circus, and the recent Word of the Day circadian. Latin has two words meaning “star”—sīdus (stem sīder-) and stella. Sīdus largely died out except in technical terms such as sidereal “determined by the stars,” while stella is the source of stellar, constellation, interstellar, and modern Romance words for “star,” such as French étoile and Spanish estrella. Circumstellar was first recorded in English in the early 1950s.
When stars are still very young (only a few million years old), their circumstellar disks are relatively huge, often with about 1 to 10 percent of the mass of the central star in a typical system. For a star like the sun, that amounts to a disk with roughly 100 times the mass of Jupiter.
In the circumstellar shells, which are shells of gas now surrounding the star, you can have dust particles form because the temperature and density are perfect for making dust. This dust then gets kicked back out into the interstellar medium along with gas and that is what the next generation of stars will form from.
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