Wednesday, October 15, 2008


cover of bookI recently came across a lovely word:

ABSQUATULATE/æbˈskwɒtjuːleɪt/: To make off, decamp, or abscond.

While the word takes longer to say than the action it represents, it's still intriguing enough that I may try to inject it into casual conversation.

Words are a hobby that I dip into from time to time, although it sometimes borders on epeolatry. I've recently renewed my e-mail subscription to A.Word.A.Day newsletter, and I'm delighted when the day's word serendipitously describes a concept or object that my vocabulary was having trouble labelling. My colleague subscribes to the Oxford English Dictionary's free word-a-day e-mail service. I wonder if we'll starting trading the day's words like marbles or baseball cards.

Atlas of LanguagesWorld Wide Words is similar to A.Word.A.Day, except the words and phrases are from a British viewpoint. However, like absquatulate above, even distinctly American inventions are covered. For words that are closer to home, there's the Urban Dictionary, a slang dictionary written by users.

We have basic dictionaries on our Internet Starting Points, and while the Merriam-Webster Online is my favorite for basic look-ups, the Online Etymology Dictionary is the best for indulging my word hobby. They even have absquatulate!

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