ersatz_read (ersatz_read) wrote in 1word1day,
ersatz_read
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1word1day

Monday word: spiflicate

spiflicate or spifflicate (ˈspɪflɪˌkeɪt), verb

To thrash, handle roughly, destroy, or annihilate.

Etymology:  Most references imply the word originated in the 1700s...yet some say it originated as British school slang; the exact source of the word seems unclear.

From a book on slang (found in Google books), "To spiflicate a thief is to spill him, or betray the subject of his roguery."

I ran across the word in a recent purchase (The Life of the Grasshopper by Jean-Henri Fabre):  "All said, I prefer the spiflicating virtues of the tigno to the old naturalist's imaginings" [of a lost child being pointed in the right direction by a mantis].  (The tigno is a term for a praying mantis nest; apparently there are references to the nests being gathered and used as folk remedies for toothaches and other ailments.)
Tags: british, s, verb, wordsmith: ersatz_read
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