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A.Word.A.Day--frag

Pronunciation RealAudio

frag (frag) noun

Fragmentation grenade: a grenade designed to scatter shrapnel over a large area.

verb tr.

To kill (especially an unpopular superior) by throwing a grenade or other explosive.

[From shortening of fragmentation.]

The term had its origin in the Vietnam War. How common was fragging? The OED includes this 1971 citation from the Brisbane Courier-Mail: "There were 209 fragging incidents last year, according to the Army and 34 deaths were listed as probably due to these."

"A senior Defense Department official said earlier this year. 'I remember when enlisted folks fragged -- as we liked to say -- threw grenades into the officers' quarters in Vietnam. Not a pretty picture."
Steven A. Holmes; Is This Really An All-Volunteer Army?; The New York Times; Apr 6, 2003.

"Could it happen? Could the LAPD be fragged by the courts? Hit by friendly fire from a federal law that was supposedly gunning for other game?"
Patt Morrison; Racketeering Law Could Put LAPD in Bad Company; Los Angeles Times; Sep 1, 2000.

This week's theme: slang.

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A proverb is a short sentence based on long experience. -Miguel de Cervantes, novelist (1547-1616)

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