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thwart

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thwart

Postby Palewriter » Sat Aug 12, 2006 1:41 am

One way or another, I've been hearing this word all day. Not a word one hears that often, I thought to myself.

thwart (v)

Prevent the occurrence, realization or attainment of.


From etymonline.com:

thwart (adv.)
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.


-- PW
"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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Postby gailr » Sat Aug 12, 2006 7:42 pm

Thwart is still a useful word where competition is rife.

But an alternate form, athwart, just sounds a bit over the top.

-gailr
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Postby Perry » Sat Aug 12, 2006 8:07 pm

Athwarting we will go
Athwarting we will go
High ho the merry'o
Athwarting we will go!
"Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once. Lately it hasn't been working."
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