Thursday, October 13, 2011

Word of the day: scupper

The word of the day is scupper:

Etymology:  perhaps < scupper n., but the connection of meaning is not clear.
a. trans. To surprise and massacre. Mil. slang. 
b. colloq. To defeat, ruin, destroy, put an end to. (OED)

"Christopher Turner writes in 'Adventures in the Orgasmatron' that Wilhelm Reich coined the term 'sexual revolution' in the nineteen-thirties to express the conviction, informed by his Marxism, that 'a true political revolution would only be possible once sexual repression was overthrown, the one obstacle Reich felt had scuppered the efforts of the Bolsheviks.'"

 - Ariel Levy, "Novelty Acts: The sexual revolutions before the sexual revolution", 19 September 2011 The New Yorker

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