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Posted by Cory on February 14, 2003 at 16:57:01:

from wordsmith.org, aka A Word A Day:

Rubicon (ROO-bi-kon) noun

A point of no return, one where an action taken commits a person
irrevocably.

[Contrary to popular belief, Caesar salad is not named after Julius Caesar.
But today's term does have a connection to him. In 49 BCE, Caesar crossed the
Rubicon, a small river that formed the boundary between Cisalpine Gaul and
Italy. As he crossed the river into Italy, he exclaimed "iacta alea est"
(the die is cast) knowing well that his action signified a declaration
of war with Pompey. Today when an action marks a situation where there
is no going back, we say the Rubicon has been crossed.]

"The age-old Labour debate between universal and means-tested social
benefits is being decisively resolved in favour of means-testing. Tony
Blair's government has indeed crossed the Rubicon."
The Universal Means Test; The Economist (London); Mar 6, 1999.

"Why should one not say, for example, that the defendants in Boyle
'crossed the Rubicon' and were thus guilty of attempted burglary when
they attacked the door of the house which they intended to burgle ..."
R.A. Duff; Criminal Attempts; Oxford University; 1996.
Full-text on Questia at http://www.questia.com/CM.qst?D=wotdrubicon

This week's theme: toponyms, or words derived from the names of places.

In case this doesn't jolt a memory, Rubikon Maze where you find Nordom & the Evil Wizard and all that good stuff. Hope you enjoyed this...



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