Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Word of the day: roister

The word of the day is roister:
  1. to act in a swaggering, boisterous, or uproarious manner.
  2. to revel noisily or without restraint.
1582, from an obsolete noun roister "noisy bully" (1551), from M.Fr. ruistre "ruffian," from O.Fr. ruste "rough country fellow," from L. rusticus (see rustic).


"This was the season when the ships from San Francisco arrived, when hundreds of Indians and Eskimos camped outside the fort to meet with representatives of the fur companies, to trade pelts and skins and dried fish for calico and guns and rum...  It was a time of roistering and wrestling and tug-of-war contests under the midnight sun, a time of 'mallemaroking,' as the whalers called their drunken sprees."

 - Hampton Sides, In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette

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