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PILLAGE

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PILLAGE

Postby Dr. Goodword » Tue Feb 22, 2005 11:31 pm

• pillage •

Pronunciation: pi-lêj

Part of Speech: Transitive verb

Meaning: To loot on a grand scale, to plunder, to take forcibly as spoils of war.

Notes: This bad Good Word has only a few relatives: the agent noun, pillager, a regular process noun, pillaging, which can double as an adjective (the pillaging hordes). Just remember that the backbone of this word is a double L, not a single.

In Play: I suppose we should begin with a reference to one of the legendary pillagers: "The Mongol-Tatar armies of Genghis Khan had as soon pillage a village as straddle a saddle." They did both very well: according to historians, they could stay in their saddles 4 days on a diet of mare's milk and horse blood. We might think that we are lucky to avoid pillage but the corporate raiders of the 80s and 90s pillaged, in a real sense, several US airlines and a few other companies.

Word History: Sometimes we find a word that knocked another out of the language. Today's word comes from an older verb, to pill, with the same meaning as to pillage. Apparently, this word was ousted by the newer word, pill. Anyway, the older verb, to pill, came from Old French, from piller "to plunder", a verb from Vulgar Latin pilare "to depilate (deprive of hair), shave, scalp, pillage". This verb comes from Latin pilus "hair", poil today in French. An alternative spelling, peel, has remained with a variant meaning not unrelated to scalping.
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Re: PILLAGE

Postby M. Henri Day » Fri Feb 25, 2005 2:32 pm

Dr. Goodword wrote: ...

I suppose we should begin with a reference to one of the legendary pillagers: "The Mongol-Tatar armies of Genghis Khan had as soon pillage a village as straddle a saddle." ...

Those armies did quite a job on Bagdad in 1258, leveling it with the ground, but by then Genghis had been dead for over 30 years. But the old man was no wimp either ; under his command those troops and their camp followers had managed to totally lay waste such flourishing cities as Bukhara and Samarkand by 1220. Still, the 5 - 6 millions that lost their lives in Genghis' wars can't begin to compare with the slaughter H sap sap managed to visit upon its fellows of the species during our late, great 20th century, and the manner in which we've begun the 21st hardly bodes well for our future....

Henri
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
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Postby tcward » Fri Feb 25, 2005 3:24 pm

Henri, do you mean to derogate the fore-warred progress of civilization?

-Tim :wink:
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Postby KatyBr » Fri Feb 25, 2005 3:30 pm

Henri
Does it get difficult to breath the rarified air?

Katy
you know, on that soapbox/Ivory tower?
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Postby M. Henri Day » Fri Feb 25, 2005 4:02 pm

It's not that high....

Henri
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Thu May 31, 2012 3:27 pm

Was this the very first posted word? If not, it was one of the first. We could update the good Doctor's comments on the pillaging of the 8-'s and 90's with what has happened in the last five years, and yea - still happeneth! From MY soapbox, and yeah, I get dizzy up here.
pl
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Postby Slava » Thu May 31, 2012 9:16 pm

If I did this right, this is the very first posted word.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
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