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Nov 27, 2019
This week’s theme
Words related to weapons

This week’s words
shell-shocked
hatchet job
battle-axe
smoking gun
great guns

battle-axe
Photo: MathKnight/Wikimedia

battle-axe
Carrie Nation, 1910, a member of the temperance movement who campaigned against alcohol consumption. She actually carried a hatchet that she wielded to destroy taverns.
Photo: Philipp Kester/NYT/Wikimedia

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

battle-axe or battle-ax

PRONUNCIATION:
(BAT-l aks)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A broadax used as a weapon of war.
2. A typically older woman with a reputation for being sharp-tongued, domineering, and aggressive.

ETYMOLOGY:
From battle, from Latin battuere (to beat) + ax, from Old English aecs (ax). It’s not entirely clear how this term came to be applied to a fierce woman. Perhaps it’s because a sharp-tongued woman could cut down someone as well as an ax, metaphorically speaking. Earliest documented use: 1380 (1896 for the figurative meaning).

USAGE:
“Blair Davis became the most entertaining Wheel of Fortune contestant ever last night. When he was introduced by Pat Sajak, Davis said: ‘I’ve been trapped in a loveless marriage for the last 12 years to an old battle-axe named Kim. She cursed my life with three stepchildren: Star, RJ, and Ryan, and I have one rotten grandson.’”
Jay Greeson; 5-at-10; Chattanooga Times Free Press (Tennessee); Oct 16, 2019.

See more usage examples of battle-axe in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
We want our sound to go into the soul of the audience, and see if it can awaken some little thing in their minds... Cause there are so many sleeping people. -Jimi Hendrix, musician, singer, and songwriter (27 Nov 1942-1970)

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