rêk-shên • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Noun
Meaning: (Colloquial) A disturbance, a row, a ruckus, rumpus—a rowdy quarrel or fight.
Notes: Because today's word is an aphetic form like scry, it is a borderline slang term, probably best not used in formal English. 'Aphesis' is the omission of unaccented initial syllables, especially noticeable in the South when Southerners say things like, 'coon, 'gator, and 'possum. Other forms include the verb ruct, which underlies today's Good Word.
In Play: When you want a word just a tad more uppity that ruckus, today's Good Word comes to the rescue: "There was a slight ruction in the kitchen when Sedgewick told his wife that he had unsubscribed them from the alphaDictionary Good Word series." Vocabulary building is so important to women. However, remember it is for conversation, not for a printed page that might be read later by a more erudite audience: "What was the ruction in the cafeteria yesterday after I left?"
Word History: Today's Good Word arose from a confusion of at least two words: eruction and eruption plus a natural tendency to ignore initial unaccented syllables, which we just learned is called 'aphesis'. Eruction is an older form of eructation "belch", which by the middle of the 18th century was being confused with the eruption of volcanoes. The eruction of volcanoes begs metaphorical use to refer to milder types of eruptions. At that point, all we had to do was drop the initial E to get this Good Word to where it is today. Ruckus? It is the further corruption of ruction compliments of the US frontier. (Today we thank Brian Johnson, who tries to prevent international ructions by improving the syntax and pragmatics of communications from his home in Tokyo.)
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