Use this forum to suggest Good Words for Professor Beard.
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Postby KatyBr » Sat Oct 01, 2005 12:29 pm

de·ba·cle (d-bäkl, -bkl, db-kl)
1. A sudden, disastrous collapse, downfall, or defeat; a rout.
2. A total, often ludicrous failure.
3. The breaking up of ice in a river.
4. A violent flood.

[French débâcle, from débâcler, to unbar, from Old French desbacler : des-, de- + bacler, to bar (from Vulgar Latin *bacculre, from Latin baculum, rod; see bak- in Indo-European roots).]

M. Henri Day
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Postby M. Henri Day » Sat Oct 01, 2005 2:23 pm

Thanks, Katy ! I've never heard or seen «debacle» used to describe the breaking up of ice on a river in the spring, but it can be quite an impressive spectacle, indeed ! Interestingly enough, the Swedish word for when winter ice begins to lose its grip on waterways, «islossning» has much more positive connotations, e g, a breakthrough in negotiations....


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