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May 30, 2019
This week’s theme
Words originating in shoes

This week’s words
sabotage
roughshod
old shoe
vamp
shoehorn

vamp
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

vamp

PRONUNCIATION:
(vamp)

MEANING:
noun:1. The front upper part of a shoe.
 2. Something patched up or improvised.
 3. A short, introductory musical passage, usually improvised, repeated several times.
verb tr.:1. To provide a shoe with a new vamp.
 2. To piece together; to improvise.
verb intr.:To play a short, introductory musical passage several times.

noun:A woman who uses her charm to exploit men.
verb tr.:To seduce or exploit.
verb intr.:To behave like a vamp.

ETYMOLOGY:
For the 1st group: From Old French avanpié, from avant (fore) + pié (foot), from Latin pes (foot). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ped- (foot), which gave us pedal, podium, octopus, impeach, peccadillo (alluding to a stumble or fall), antipodes, expediency, and impeccable. Earliest documented use: 1225.

For the 2nd group: Short for vampire, from French, from Hungarian vampir, from a Slavic language. Earliest documented use: 1904.

USAGE:
“Stilettos with flattering wraparounds and pointed vamps redefine the workaday pump.”
Ankle Straps; Marie Claire (New York); Oct 2011.

“The band vamps for long stretches.”
John Richardson; “I Should Have Been There to Protect Him???”; Esquire (New York); Jan 2015.

“The much-loved salon just vamped up its 10-year-old space with a bright, modern makeover.”
Chop Chop; That’s Shanghai (Beijing, China); Mar 2012.

“Jeanie seems efficient and crisp and respectful but in reality she is a vamp with strong powers of seduction and a wild side.”
New York Tristate; Back Stage (New York); Jan 22, 2015.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Speculation is perfectly all right, but if you stay there you've only founded a superstition. If you test it, you've started a science. -Hal Clement, science fiction author (30 May 1922-2003)

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