Words at Play : Top 10 Words Born in Conflict

#6: Blitz

In German, blitz means "lightning"; krieg means "war."

Blitzkrieg, "a violent surprise offensive," usually describes German tactics in WWII. The eight shattering months of nighttime bombardment of London by German forces was called simply the Blitz.

Today, it's a far milder word.

Blitz now describes an "intensive campaign or attack," as in this headline: "Blitz on Speeders Nabs Thousands." (Edmonton Journal News, April 7, 2010)

Of course, it also means rushing the quarterback, as illustrated here.

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May 24, 2015
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