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O, 15th letter of the alphabet. It is a usual symbol for a mid-back, rounded vowel, rather like the first part of oi. Such a vowel was represented by omicron [Gr.,=little o], its formal and positional correspondent in the Greek alphabet. English ō is a diphthong of ŏ and w. In chemistry O is the symbol of the element oxygen. In surnames O' is derived from the Irish patronymic system; e.g., O'Neill meant “grandson of Niall,” probably referring originally to Niall Glundubh, high king of Ireland, 915–19 (see name).
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McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
a beautiful woman willing to undergo every form of sexual manipulation at the bidding of her lover. [Fr. Lit.: Pauline Reage The Story of 0 in Weiss, 445]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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