One way or another, I've been hearing this word all day. Not a word one hears that often, I thought to myself.
Prevent the occurrence, realization or attainment of.
c.1200, from O.N. þvert "across," originally neut. of thverr (adj.) "transverse, across," cognate with O.E. þweorh "transverse, perverse, angry, cross," from P.Gmc. *thwerkhaz (cf. M.Du. dwers, Du. dwars "cross-grained, contrary," O.H.G. twerh, Ger. quer, Goth. þwairhs "angry"), altered (by influence of *thwer- "to turn") from *therkh-, from PIE *twork-/*twerk- "twist" (cf. L. torquere "to twist," Skt. tarkuh "spindle," O.C.S. traku "band, girdle," O.H.G. drahsil "turner," Ger. drechseln "to turn on a lathe"). The verb meaning "oppose, hinder" is c.1250, from the adv. and prep.
Apparently, an interesting adverb that suddenly morphs into a verb. Notice, too, the root in "torquere" and the relationship to modern "torture." Apparently, thwarting (as an activity) began in about 1250.
Happily, we're still doing it today.
Use this forum to suggest Good Words for Professor Beard.
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"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention to arrive safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow!!! What a ride!"
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