wick

January 15, 2007

one of the new words in the OED this year is “wick-v3.” wick means, “intr. Of a liquid: to migrate by capillary action, esp. through an absorbent textile” and is frequently used with the preposition up. i like this entry because without it i never would have known that there were two other wick-v’s in the english language.

wick-v2 is a curling term, meaning ” ‘to drive a stone dexterously through an opening between two guards’ (Jam.)” there’s also a parallel intransitive verb, inwick. both of these curling terms are well attested in the quotations and quite old.

wick-v1, the oldest of the bunch, is now, alas, obsolete. as an intransitive verb, wick means, “to take up one’s abode.” there’s also a transitive form, meaning, “to pitch a tent.” wick was a remnant of old english that has been lost to time. the word is related to the the noun wick-n2 which means an abode, amongst other things. OED claims that wick-n2 is now either obsolete or local. i assume local means dialect, but the lovely editors don’t actually tell us where they still use this enchanting word. does local mean oxford town? one can only hope that the oxford lexicographers are busying away in their wicks preparing a new edition of their lovely list of words.

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One Response to “wick”

  1. Isaac Says:

    I would just like to commend you for bringing to the forefront one of the world’s greatest sports.
    Thank you.


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