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Jun 14, 2021
This week’s theme
Contractions

This week’s words
bolshie
lackadaisical
blitz
zounds
extrality

bolshie
“Radical, Anarchic, Bolshy, Scouse?”
(Scouse = Someone from Liverpool, UK)

Previous week’s theme
Nursery rhymes
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

If you are one of those people for whom a contraction, such as za for pizza or k for OK, looks like a major faux pas, take a deep breath and imagine the sound of ocean waves and birds chirping.

Abbreviations and contractions have been a part of language, any language, since, well, forever. It’s just that some of these shortenings have been with us for so long that we don’t realize that what we are using is a condensed version of something bigger. This week we’ll see five such words.

What contractions and abbreviations do you use that are not a part of the language yet? Some of these may be just in your family, in your field, in a recreational activity, for example. Share them below or email us at words@wordsmith.org (include your location: city, state).

bolshie or bolshy

PRONUNCIATION:
(BOL-shee)

MEANING:
adjective:1. Rebellious; uncooperative; combative.
 2. Politically radical.
noun:1. Someone who is rebellious, uncooperative, combative, etc.
 2. A politically radical person.

ETYMOLOGY:
Abbreviation of Bolshevik (a person with radical views), from Russian Bolshevik, from bolshe (greater), referring to the faction of the Russian Social Democratic party that seized power in the October Revolution of 1917. Ultimately from the Indo-European root bel- (strong), which also gave us debility and Bolshoi Theatre (literally, Great Theater). Earliest documented use: 1918.

USAGE:
“I was a bolshie teenager, full of argument.”
Katherine Hassell; Jeremy Vine: My Family Values; The Guardian (London, UK); Sep 11, 2015.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone. -Harriet Beecher Stowe, abolitionist and novelist (14 Jun 1811-1896)

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