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Apr 20, 2021
This week’s theme
Nouning verbs and verbing nouns

This week’s words
woodshed
balk
festoon
bivouac
savvy

balk
A rail on a baulk
Photo: Geof Sheppard / Wikimedia

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

balk or baulk

PRONUNCIATION:
(bawk)

MEANING:
noun:1. A check or hindrance.
 2. A defeat or disappointment.
 3. A beam or rafter.
 4. A ridge; an unplowed strip of land between furrows.
verb intr.:To stop, hesitate, or refuse to proceed.
verb tr.:To thwart or hinder.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Old English balca (ridge, bank). Earliest documented use, noun: 885, verb: 1393.

USAGE:
“Nothing, agreed, is alien to love
When pure desire has overflowed its baulks.”
Robert Graves; Collected Poems; Cassell; 1965.

“She balked at the bedroom door, digging in her heels. ‘It’s just a bedroom, Katie,’ he said. ‘We have to pass through it to get to the bathroom where my first aid supplies are.’”
Lori Wilde; A Wedding for Christmas; Avon; 2016.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
I am, indeed, a king, because I know how to rule myself. -Pietro Aretino, satirist and dramatist (20 Apr 1492-1556)

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