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Skulk

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Skulk

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sun May 05, 2013 11:02 pm

• skulk •


Pronunciation: skêlk • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb, intransitive

Meaning: 1. To move about sneakily, trying not to be seen. 2. To lurk out of sight in a cowardly, resentful, and rather sinister way.

Notes: This word is easy to spell. Just remember that both the [k] sounds are spelled K: it is a rarity to find a word spelled so consistently in English. The noun and adjective are both skulking. Don't confuse this word with sulk "to be withdrawn and sullen". Sulking does not involve resentment or anything sinister as does skulking.

In Play: Skulking first and foremost arises from resentment: "Denny Graden has been skulking around Fictitia's office since she started going out with Manley Hunter." However, skullduggery (unrelated) could just as well motivate skulking: "I called 911 when I saw a tattooed man with spiked hair and a half pound of scrap metal in his face skulking about outside my house."

Word History: Today's Good Word was borrowed from Old Norse during the Viking visits to the coasts of England in the 9th-10th centuries. Norwegian still uses skulka "to skulk, shirk, skip work or school". In Danish we find skulke and Swedish skolka with more or less the same meaning. No one knows where the Scandinavians got this word. It might have come from a long lost blend of two other words, but who knows.
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Re: Skulk

Postby MTC » Mon May 06, 2013 6:51 am

Skulk sounds like a portmanteau word; "sulk" combined with (insert missing part here.) "Skunk," the closest candidate, doesn't quite fit. Nor does any other word I can find. But why bother when skulk is not a portmanteau anyway? Because it's fun.

And this brings me to another neologism:
partmanteau*: one of the two words making up a portmanteau.

*from The Apocrypha of MTC
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Re: Skulk

Postby LukeJavan8 » Mon May 06, 2013 12:58 pm

One could begin something with:

"A skulking skunk....."
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Re: Skulk

Postby gailr » Mon May 06, 2013 7:57 pm

Which sign would look more serious:

NO LOITERING

NO SKULKING
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Re: Skulk

Postby LukeJavan8 » Mon May 06, 2013 8:00 pm

I like NO SKULKING, at least it would make one think.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Re: Skulk

Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon May 06, 2013 9:20 pm

In my mind they are two different things. Loitering is just hanging around. NO LOITERING means "If you don't have anything to do, go do it somewhere else." Skulking to me implies a nefarious purpose: sneaking around to spy or sneak in and snatch something.
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Re: Skulk

Postby gailr » Mon May 06, 2013 10:42 pm

How about a multi-point sign:

NO SKULKING
NO SCRUMPING
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Re: Skulk

Postby MTC » Tue May 07, 2013 5:40 am

gailr wrote:How about a multi-point sign:

NO SKULKING
NO SCRUMPING


A "NO SCRUMPING" sign was posted in the Garden of Eden, gailr, but to little effect.
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Re: Skulk

Postby Perry Lassiter » Tue May 07, 2013 12:18 pm

Can't believe I missed that in the other thread where I posted about 40 synonyms for theft.

Speaking of synonyms, a comic character today says his dad defined the word as meaning the same as another word you can't spell! Guilty! Though not of scrumping!
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