Phylacteries and Prophylactics: Remembering the Difference

I confused these the other day. Fortunately only verbally.

phy•lac•ter•y (f -l k t -r )
n. pl. phy•lac•ter•ies
1. Judaism Either of two small leather boxes, each containing strips of parchment inscribed with quotations from the Hebrew Scriptures, one of which is strapped to the forehead and the other to the left arm; traditionally worn by Jewish men during morning worship, except on the Sabbath and holidays.
2.
a. An amulet.
b. A reminder.

pro•phy•lac•tic (pr f -l k t k, pr f -)
adj.
Acting to defend against or prevent something, especially disease; protective.
n.
1. A prophylactic agent, device, or measure, such as a vaccine or drug.
2. A contraceptive device, especially a condom.

2 Comments

  1. LOL, Matt! I love the English language sometimes… one word can have a multitude of meanings.
    Not many people use either of those words, these days… and even more rarely in the same conversation, I should imagine.
    However, I do like the idea of the Phylactery being a reminder about something good to remember

    Like

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