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BIVOUAC

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BIVOUAC

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sun Mar 11, 2007 10:56 pm

• bivouac •

Pronunciation: bi-vu-wæk • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun & Verb, intransitive

Meaning: 1. Temporary quarters or campsite for a short stay, usually for soldiers, hikers, or mountain climbers. 2. A temporary campsite offering little shelter for a short stay.

Notes: Today's Good Word may be used 'as is' for a verb meaning to set up a bivouac, as to bivouac in the school gym during a storm. When suffixes beginning with a vowel are added to this stem, the root is extended by a K: bivouacs but bivouacked and bivouacking. Someone who bivouacs would be a bivouacker.

In Play: Today's Good Word is still used more in military contexts than in any other: "That night our outfit bivouacked in what we thought was an open field only to wake up in the morning surrounded by a herd of cows." However, it has long since escaped the exclusive domain of soldiering: "Kelly's brother bivouacked on the couch in our living room for three weeks before he found a job."

Word History: The spelling of today's word gives away its French origin: bivouac. This word seems to have arisen during the Thirty Years War from bivac, a dialectal variant of Swiss German beiwacht "night watch", a supplementary night patrol carried out by civilians during that war. The Swiss German word is made up of bei "by, at" + Wacht "watch, vigil", the noun from wachen "to wake, watch, guard". The root here is clearly akin to English wake but also to witch, Wicca and wicked. How? Well, wickedness was associated with the activities of witches but witches were originally seen as necromancers, people capable of waking the dead. (We would like to thank Larry Brady now for keeping a watch for curious words like this one, which he suggested for today's Good Word.)
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Postby Perry » Mon Mar 12, 2007 10:06 am

We would like to thank Larry Brady now for keeping a watch for curious words like this one, which he suggested for today's Good Word.


That's his bivouac.
"Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once. Lately it hasn't been working."
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Postby Stargzer » Tue Mar 13, 2007 1:10 am

... and fortunately, I don't have to ride Stan Rogers' Night Guard.
Regards//Larry

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Postby bnjtokyo » Tue Mar 13, 2007 1:56 am

In the contexts in which I usually hear the word, it is shortened to "bivi" (alternative spelling: "bivy")
It forms compounds such as "bivisack," "biviledge" and
"bivigear"

I'd-rather-wake-up-in-the-middle-of-nowhere-than-anywhere-else-on-earth bnjtokyo
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Postby Perry » Tue Mar 13, 2007 7:43 am

What's with the car wreck Gzer?
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Postby Stargzer » Tue Mar 13, 2007 11:53 pm

Ya jus' had ta ask, didn' cha, Perry! :wink:

I've always wanted to see an air bag go off. BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR! I got to see two go off up close and personal last Saturday evening.

This illustrates the physics of elastic collisions, specifically between the right front of a 2Dr '98 Ford Explorer Sport and the right rear of a 4 Dr '06 Hummer H3 as it crossed my path.

The Hummer was spun around and lost it's right rear wheel, which went sauntering on down the road a bit. Since I hit it on the corner there doesn't look like too much body damage to the H3, but there's probably some other structural / frame damage in addition to the rear axle.

No injuries to any party, although my back and neck were a little sore, which I had checked out.

I'll change the pic later to one showing the airbags after they went off. I wonder if I can retrieve them, wash them, and stuff them to use as souvenir pillows in my next car?

My brother thinks it's probably totaled, since the air bags themselves go for $1200 a pop (pun intended). We'll see what the insurance company says Wednesday morning.

As the saying goes, "God put me on Earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now I'm so far behind I'll probably never be allowed to die!"
Regards//Larry

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Postby Bailey » Wed Mar 14, 2007 2:05 am

Stargzer wrote:As the saying goes, "God put me on Earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now I'm so far behind I'll probably never be allowed to die!"
Don't bank on it. But it's A good word for procrastination.

mark never-put-off-for-tomorrow-what-you-can get away-with-never-doing Bailey
Last edited by Bailey on Thu Mar 15, 2007 11:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Perry » Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:00 am

This illustrates the physics of elastic collisions, specifically between the right front of a 2Dr '98 Ford Explorer Sport and the right rear of a 4 Dr '06 Hummer H3 as it crossed my path.


Also that old favorite, two solid objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time.

Stay safe man!
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