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Thursday, December 30, 2004

Word of the Day

squib \SKWIB\ noun

1 a : a short humorous or satiric writing or speech *b : a short news item; especially : filler
2 a : a small firecracker b : a broken firecracker in which the powder burns with a fizz
3 : a small electric or pyrotechnic device used to ignite a charge

Example sentence:
was only a squib in the local newspaper about the student demonstration.

Did you know?
"Squib" rocketed into our language out of nowhere in the early 16th century (some etymologists think it might have developed as an imitation of an explosive sound) and almost immediately flared out into different meanings. Some of those uses still burn strong, but others (like its use as a word for a missile) have fizzled out. "Squib" often refers to things that have a spirited or explosive nature (like short works of satire or firecrackers), but it can also describe things that provide little or no bang for the buck (like news fillers and broken firecrackers). In British English, a "damp squib" is something that fails to live up to expectations. In U.S. football, a "squib kick" is a kickoff in which the ball bounces along the ground.

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.

1 comment:

Cali Girl said...

Thank you! I love squibs!
You really need to see the movie Bandits, because there's a great part about squibs in it.
You also need to see it because I can relate way too many things that we talk about to that movie.
How's tonight around 8?