Word of the Day : September 22, 2011


noun RUK-shun


1 : a noisy fight

2 : disturbance, uproar


The ruction outside the door prompted me to investigate what was going on.

"I wrapped my hand around it [the whip], but didn't want to use it and cause a ruction." -- From Damien Broderick’s 2011 novel Time Considered as a Series of Thermite Burns in No Particular Order

Did You Know?

English offers up a scramble of colorful words for what can happen when tempers spill over. For example, we have "melee," "fracas," "donnybrook," "ruckus," and one especially for baseball fans, "rhubarb." "Ruction" is rarer than most of these. Etymologists speculate that "ruction" came to English in the early 19th century as a shortening and alteration of another word suggesting an episode of violence: "insurrection." The earliest uses of "ruction" specifically make reference to the Irish Rebellion of 1798, an uprising against British rule on that island. "Ruckus" came later, toward the end of the 19th century, and was probably formed by combining "ruction" with "rumpus."

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