Johnsonian Horseplay

Dr. Johnson was once rebuked by a woman demanding to know why he had defined "pastern" as "the knee of a horse" in his famous Dictionary. "Ignorance, madam," he replied, "pure ignorance."

[The American Heritage Dictionary defines the word as "the part of a horse's foot between the fetlock and hoof... An analogous part of the leg of a dog or other quadruped."]

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