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قديم 06-18-2006, 12:26 PM
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تاريخ التسجيل: May 2006
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افتراضي كلمة اليوم Today's Word

Skirmish (Noun)

Pronunciation: ['skêr-mish]
Definition 1: A minor combative encounter between small outfits of two larger opposing forces; a small initial fight to test the reactions of larger forces. Any small combative encounter, such as a verbal skirmish between two political candidates.
Usage 1: If greenish means "somewhat green" and longish means "somewhat long," skirmish should mean "somewhat skirm"—but it doesn't. The ending of today's word is of obscure origins and has been changed by folk etymology to a recognizable if inconsistent suffix. The plural is "skirmishes" and today's noun may also be used as an intransitive verb. "Scaramouch(e)," Harlequin's malicious counterpart in the Commedia dell'arte, the wandering medieval players of Western Europe, owes his name to the same source. Scaramouch is always a boastful schemer who mounts facetious skirmishes against those around him.
Suggested usage: Today's contributor (see Etymology) takes delight in the gasoline skirmishes around his neighborhood, "The opening of two new gasoline stations in proximity to two established stations has resulted in lower costs, but prices still around $1.36 per gallon reflect more of a gas skirmish than a gas war." Larry dreams of an all-out war that will bring prices down to $.75 again. Dream on, Larry. Perhaps the most famous skirmish was between David and Goliath; a very short battle that hardly amounted to a fight.
Etymology: Middle English "skirmisshe" from Old French "eskarmouch," from Italian scaramuccia "skirmish." Older Romance languages originally borrowed this word from Germanic, then we borrowed it back. To cut straight to the point, the original root was *sker- "cut," the great-grandfather of English "shear," "share," and "shard." A shirt is also something sheared from a larger piece of clothing so as to make it "short," originally a past participle meaning "cut." English also borrowed the Old Norse variant of this word, "skirt," assigning it the meaning of the part cut off in making a shirt. "Scar" is another Old Norse cut left in English by the Viking invasions of England. Scrimmage "practice session or contest" is a variant derived by the metathesis of the [r] with the vowel preceding it and a reanalysis of the ending to make it look like a French suffix.
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