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Jul 12, 2022
This week’s theme
Words that appear to be misspelled

This week’s words
staddle
dragoon
specie
navvy
compromis

“Words are the small change of thought.” ~Jules Renard
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

dragoon

PRONUNCIATION:
(druh-GOON)

MEANING:
verb tr.: To force someone to do something; coerce.

ETYMOLOGY:
From French dragon (dragon, to dragoon). Earliest documented use: 1622.

NOTES:
This is a good example of how the meaning of a word evolves from an object to a person to an action. Originally, the word dragoon referred to firearms, either from the fact that they breathed fire like a dragon or from the shape of the pistol hammer. Eventually, it began to be applied to a cavalryman armed with a carbine. Today the term is a verb for forcing someone to do something against their will.

USAGE:
“The government tightly controls cotton, Uzbekistan’s third-biggest export (after gold and gas) ... It normally dragoons public-sector workers to harvest the bolls. But this autumn thousands of doctors, nurses, and teachers were sent home from the fields. The government says greater mechanisation and higher wages for pickers will soon allow it to do without forced labour altogether.”
From a Low Base; The Economist (London, UK); Dec 16, 2017.

See more usage examples of dragoon in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Love is so short and forgetting is so long. -Pablo Neruda, poet, diplomat, Nobel laureate (12 Jul 1904-1973)

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