Odd Words: Blatherskite

Donald Trump - BlatherskiteAs you can see, I’m not doing these posts every day. They’re hard. But today we do Page 29 of The New York Times Everyday Reader’s Dictionary of Misunderstood, Misused, and Mispronounced Words: Revised Edition. It had a great word for today and to the general election and then maybe another four or eight years: blatherskite.

Me No Blatherskite

In a regular dictionary, you know you are going to get a lot of repetition. But for one like ours, repetition is annoying. This pages starts with: blaspheme, blasphemous, and blasphemy. Now really: anyone who knows one of those words knows them all, right? And it had words like “bleak.” If you don’t know that word, you need a regular dictionary.

But there were a lot of things I didn’t know. Blaue Reiter is “a group of artists employing free form and unconventional colors, active in Munich in the early 20th century.” They did beautiful work. I’ll have to do some more research on them.

But I’m in a bit of a rush, so on to blatherskite:

Blath·er·skite  noun  \bla’-thər-skīt\

1. one given to blustering or empty talk.

Date: mid 17th century.

Origin: not surprisingly, it comes from the English word “blather.” It is combined with the Scottish pejorative “skite,” which means “one held in mild contempt.” But I have found that the word is usually spelled “skyte” or “skate.”

Example: Trump’s more important because he can make a shambles of the Republican debates. Just by being there, he can hurt the Republican Party. He is what is called a “blatherskite.” That is a word my grandmother was fond of as someone who blathers promiscuously.George Will

The word seems to have first appeared in the Francis Sempil song “Maggie Lauder.” It has the line, “Jog on your gait, ye blatherskate.” Enjoy!

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

2 thoughts on “Odd Words: Blatherskite

  1. I didn’t realize this was a real word. “Blathering Blatherskite” was the code phrase that Gizmoduck used on Ducktales to activate his super-suit; I always figured it was made up.

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