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07
Jul
2012
2:40 mins
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<p><strong><font color="#000066">Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for July 08, 2012 is:</font></strong></p>
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<strong>scupper</strong> &#149; \SKUP-er\&nbsp; &#149; <em>verb</em><br />
: British <strong>:</strong> to defeat or put an end to <strong>:</strong> do in <br />
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<strong>Examples:</strong><br />
The latest information could <em>scupper</em> the peace talks.&quot;Greece faces weeks of political turmoil that could <em>scupper</em> its financial bailout after voters angry at crippling income cuts punished mainstream politicians, let a far-right extremist group into Parliament and gave no party enough votes to govern alone.&quot; &#151; From an article in <em>Associated Press Online</em>, May 7, 2012<br />
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<strong>Did you know?</strong><br />
All efforts to figure out where this verb came from have been defeated, including attempts to connect it to the noun &quot;scupper,&quot; a 500-year-old word for a drain opening in the side of a ship. (One conjecture, that the blood of shipboard battle was &quot;scuppered&quot; when it was washed down the scuppers, unfortunately lacks backing in the form of any actual evidence of the verb used this way.) All we know for sure is that &quot;scupper&quot; meant &quot;to ambush and massacre&quot; in 19th-century military slang. Then, just before the century turned, it found its place in a magazine story in the sense of simply &quot;doing (someone) in.&quot; The more common modern application to things rather than people being done in or defeated didn't appear until a couple of decades into the 20th century.<br /><br />
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