Word of the Day : December 28, 2011

duckboard

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noun DUK-bord

Definition

: a boardwalk or slatted flooring laid on a wet, muddy, or cold surface -- usually used in plural

Did You Know?

The word "duckboard" was created during the early 20th century to describe the boards or slats of wood laid down to provide safe footing for the soldiers of World War I across wet or muddy ground in trenches or camps. The original duckboards didn't always work as intended though. According to one soldier, duckboards came by their name because someone walking on wet duckboards was liable to slide off them much like water slides off a duck's back. Today's duckboards appear in all kinds of places -- from marshes to the floors of saunas. The word "duck" itself has been part of the English language since the days of Old English, when it had the form "dŪce."


Examples

Someone had laid duckboards across the marshy area of the path so that it was passable.

"Much of the trail consists of duckboards to protect fragile eco-systems and hikers should be careful not to step off them." -- From an advertorial in The Australian Magazine, October 8, 2011



Test Your Memory

What is the meaning of "foment," our Word of the Day from December 16? The answer is ...


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