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Sack

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Sack

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:06 am

• sack •


Pronunciation: sæk • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun, Verb

Meaning: [Noun] 1. A container made of flexible material such as cloth, leather, or paper; a bag. 2. (Slang) A bed. 3. (Slang) A base in baseball. [Verb] 4. To place in a sack. 5. To dismiss, discharge, fire. 6. (Football) To tackle behind the line of scrimmage, especially a quarterback trying to pass the ball.

Notes: This ubiquitous word has been around forever (see Word History), but has adapted to every language that has acquired it. So the verbal variant comes with a completely English family: sackable, sackage, sacking (adjective and noun), sackful, sackless, and sacker.

In Play: Only the last meaning of today's Good Word is particularly topical today: "If the Seattle Seahawks sack the Broncos' Peyton Manning enough times, they could win Super Bowl XXXIII." This sense of sack comes from the sense of "to fire (to put out of service)". Now for a noun sense of sack, the slang sense of "bed": "As soon as I finish this, I'm hitting the sack."

Word History: Today's Good Word started out in Hebrew as saq; it may have even been present in Ancient Egyptian and Phoenician. It was taken up by Aramaic as saq and came down to Syriac as saq. Greek borrowed its word sakkos from one of these Middle Eastern languages, then lent it to Latin as saccus. Centuries pass. The Latin word was inherited by all the Romance languages: French sac, Spanish saco, Portuguese saco, and Italian sacco. It was borrowed by Old Germanic and came down to Dutch as zak, German Sack, Swedish säkk, Danish sæk, and English sack. It crept into Celtic languages, too: Irish sac and Welsh sach. We find it, again, in Albanian, an Indo-European language, as sak, and in Hungarian, a Finno-Ugric language, as zsak. (George Kovac thought Super Bowl weekend would be a propitious moment to review this word, particularly its most recent sense.)
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Re: Sack

Postby SeasiderWR » Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:42 am

Oops! What happened to 'sack' as in 'loot and plunder a captured town'? :roll:
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Re: Sack

Postby Slava » Sun Feb 02, 2014 9:35 am

SeasiderWR wrote:Oops! What happened to 'sack' as in 'loot and plunder a captured town'? :roll:

That one seems to have a different root, as does the wine. Just a coincidence in spelling and pronunciation,

I'm wondering what happened to the last 15 Super Bowls that we are playing one from 1999. At least one of the teams is correct, but it does seem odd. :lol:
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Re: Sack

Postby tapoensgen » Sun Feb 02, 2014 7:16 pm

Slava wrote:
SeasiderWR wrote:Oops! What happened to 'sack' as in 'loot and plunder a captured town'? :roll:

That one seems to have a different root, as does the wine. Just a coincidence in spelling and pronunciation,

I'm wondering what happened to the last 15 Super Bowls that we are playing one from 1999. At least one of the teams is correct, but it does seem odd. :lol:


Well, the plunderin meaning may well have the same root since it seems to originate from the italian mettere a sacco, presumably meaning to put plunder into the sack. So a little further explanation by Dr Goodword here would have been nice.
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Re: Sack

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:52 pm

Sac is probably a variation of the same word, referring to various "pockets" in the body.
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