Today's Word "Absquatulate"


Published in Vocabulary

Absquatulate \ahb-SQWAH-chu-leyt\ (verb) - 1 : To depart, abscond, take off; to die. 2 : To argue.

"David seems to have absquatulated with my date while I was in the bathroom; would you like to dance?"


Today's word is not one you would want to use on a job interview or in a PhD dissertation. It is a word created for humorous effect, not for clarity of communication. The origin of this word is difficult. The Latin prefix ab- means "away (from)" and the suffix means simply "do something." The stem is a combination of "squat" and the diminutive ul "a little." Put them all together and you don't have much. Some wags would have the word originally mean "take off and squat somewhere." However, the 19th century America produced a lot of fake Latin words, including "argufy," "citify," "uppity," "high-faluting," and so on, and today's is simply another one of these. Plainness is a specialty of the US; we don't appreciate fanciness in word or deed except to bear the brunt of jokes.


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