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Is That A Word?

Them's Fightin' Words!

  1. Check off the name of the dictionary you used for this assignment.

_________ Random House Webster’s College Dictionary

_________ Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth edition

  1. This is a list of words that emerged from wars fought at various times in history. Check off your assigned word.

_____ blackout

_____ blimp

_____ boonies

_____ blockbuster

_____ crack-up

_____ draftee

_____ dud

_____ humdinger

_____ wimp

  1. Look up your assigned word in your dictionary. Write the year it entered the English language here. ____________

  2. Write out your dictionary's complete definition for this word. Include pronunciation, parts of speech, etc.

  3. Use your word in a complete, correctly written sentence.

  4. What was the name of the war that gave us your assigned word? How did you find out?


With the advent of the war on terrorism in late 2001, some writers began to look at "war language".  Here are links to two good pieces on how wars expand vocabulary..

Them's Fightin' Words: War Lingo Rushes to the Front (Washington Post, November 10, 2001) 

New Words for a Nation's Anguish (Los Angeles Times, November 11, 2001)


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original web posting: Monday, August 7, 2000
last modified: Sunday, July 09, 2006