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February 17, 2011

Word of the Day

  • flounce
  • audio pronunciation
  • \FLOUNSS\
  • DEFINITION

verb

1
a : to move with exaggerated jerky or bouncy motions b : to go with sudden determination
2
: flounder, struggle
  • EXAMPLES

Bernard flounced around the house in a huff, yanking doors open and slamming them shut as he stomped from room to room.

"The Master of the Music flounced out with the choir flouncing out in perfect unison behind him." -- From Terry Pratchett's 2009 novel Unseen Academicals

  • DID YOU KNOW?

The story behind "flounce" is an elusive one. The verb's first recorded use in English occurred in 1542, and some scholars believe it is related to the Norwegian verb "flunsa" (meaning "to hurry" or "to work briskly") and Swedish "flunsa" ("to fall with a splash" or "to plunge"). The connection is uncertain, however, because the "flunsa" verbs did not appear in their respective languages until the 18th century, long after "flounce" surfaced in English. A second distinct sense of "flounce," referring to a strip or ruffle of fabric attached on one edge, did not appear in English until the 18th century. This "flounce" derives from the Middle English "frouncen" ("to curl").

Test Your Memory: What word completes this sentence from a recent Word of the Day piece: "A matching DNA sample was the __________ in the murder case"? The answer is ...

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