Word of the Day Archive
Friday January 21, 2011
1. Pertaining to an object or natural phenomenon with which a family or group considers itself closely related.
2. Relating to a representation of such an object serving as the distinctive mark of the clan or group.
It's as totemic to me as Don's black hat was to my baby daughter.
-- Jonathan Stone, Monkeys on My Back: Three Unpublished(unpublishable?) Novels (Oh, and a Novella)
A convict's personal possessions - few in number, weighted with significance-took on a totemic quality, and Doug had, over time, winnowed his meaningful totems down to exactly one.
-- Chuck Hogan, Prince of Thieves: A Novel
Totemic derives from the Algonquian (probably Ojibwa) odoodeman, "his sibling kin, his group or family," hence, "his family mark."