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spavined (SPAV-ind) adjective

1. Suffering from spavin, a disease involving swelling of hock joints in a horse.

2. Old; decrepit; broken-down.

[From Middle English, from Old French espavain (swelling).]

"So, you see, we are at the bar off the lobby of the Peace Hotel in Shanghai. At the bandstand is the oldest, most spavined jazz band in existence, playing what is advertised as Dixieland. These guys are so bad they are good." Allan Fotheringham; One Innocent in Shanghai; Maclean's (Toronto, Canada); Oct 23, 2000.

"If they ever praise each other's bad drawings, or broken-winded novels, or spavined verses, nobody ever supposed it was from admiration; it was simply a contract between themselves and a publisher or dealer." Oliver Wendell Holmes; The Long Jolt on Public Opinion; The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table; 1858.

This week's theme: words of horse-related origins.


Say oh wise man how you have come to such knowledge? Because I was never ashamed to confess my ignorance and ask others. -Johann Gottfried Von Herder, critic and poet (1744-1803)

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