Word of the Day - Friday, January 22nd

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ODA (OH-duh)

A room within a harem

Common clues: Harem room; Harem chamber; Seraglio room; Sultana's chamber; Concubine cubicle

Crossword puzzle frequency: once a year

Frequency in English language: 31776 / 86800

Oda is a room within a harem found in the Ottoman Empire.

The word oda simply means "a room" in Turkish. The English and French term odalisque also derives from the related Turkish word odalık which means "a chamber girl" or "a concubine".

During Ottoman period the harem division of the Topkapı Palace was home to the Valide sultan (Sultan's mother); the odalisques and wives of the Sultan; and the rest of his family, including children; and their servants. There were nearly 300 odas in the harem and it housed as many as 500 residents, which sometimes amounted up to 300 women, their children, and the eunuchs.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Oda".