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Feb 6, 2020
This week’s theme
Well-traveled words

This week’s words
Moloch
bezoar
cavalcade
saber-rattling
calash

“Words are the small change of thought.” ~Jules Renard
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

saber-rattling or sabre-rattling

PRONUNCIATION:
(SAY-buhr-rat-ling)

MEANING:
noun: Threatening words or action, for example, in the form of a flamboyant display of military power.

ETYMOLOGY:
From saber/sabre (a heavy cavalry sword with a curved blade), from French sabre, from German dialect Sabel (now Säbel), from Hungarian szablya + rattle (to make a quick succession of sharp noises), probably ultimately of imitative origin. Earliest documented use: 1922.

USAGE:
“Word just came down that something is heating up between Egypt and Israel. Probably only a bunch of saber-rattling, but it could turn serious.”
Kim Barnes; In the Kingdom of Men; Knopf; 2012.

See more usage examples of saber-rattling in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
There's a schizoid quality to our relationship with animals, in which sentiment and brutality exist side by side. Half the dogs in America will receive Christmas presents this year, yet few of us pause to consider the miserable life of the pig -- an animal easily as intelligent as a dog -- that becomes the Christmas ham. -Michael Pollan, professor and writer (b. 6 Feb 1955)

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