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Jun 30, 2020
This week’s theme
Back-formations

This week’s words
onymous
swashbuckle
zig
rort
couth

swashbuckle
Photo: Josh Davis

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

swashbuckle

PRONUNCIATION:
(SWASH-buhkl)

MEANING:
verb intr.: To swagger, bluster, behave recklessly, etc.

ETYMOLOGY:
Back-formation from swashbuckler (one who makes a noise by striking a sword on a shield), from swash (of imitative origin) + buckler (a small round shield), from boucle (a boss on a shield), from Latin buccula, diminutive of bucca (cheek). Earliest documented use: 1897. Swashbuckler is from 1560.

USAGE:
“Ever since DNA was first used in 1986 to catch a killer, it’s swashbuckled its way through society as an almost infallible weapon of truth: convicting the guilty, freeing the innocent, revealing bloodlines, paternity, and identity.”
Carolyn Abraham; Unravelling the Canadian Gene Machine; The Globe and Mail (Toronto, Canada); Feb 3, 2018.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Not that I want to be a god or a hero. Just to change into a tree, grow for ages, not hurt anyone. -Czeslaw Milosz, poet and novelist (30 Jun 1911-2004)

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