A Word for Wednesday

Oh dear me. Here I am again. Or, rather, here we are again: me writing this thing far too late and you either reading it far too late or reading it on Thursdays. I'm up to my eyeballs in my studies. I have 18 credits left to earn for my English BA. I'm only taking 6 of those as courses but since I'm studying the remaining subjects independently and then testing out (usually in a matter of two weeks), I'm effectively in the middle of an 18-credit semester while working 20-30 hours, trying to learn a foreign language, and preparing for a concert my community is performing on September 11th. I think I qualify as being busy ;) But everyone is busy so that's hardly an excuse for my neglecting both my own blog and all of yours. An explanation is far better and mine is this: finishing school is my priority right now. Over writing, over jiu-jitsu, and over blogging. So there you have it, take it or leave it as you will. And now onto more interesting things. Namely, the last A word for this year:

Avaunt - excl., Begone; depart; a word of contempt or abhorrence, equivalent to the phrase, "Get thee behind me."

I so wish people still spoke with words like this. They're so heavy with feeling when compared to today's vocabulary Think about it, "avaunt" versus "go away." There's just no contest. At least not for me. Avaunt wins hands down, by far, bar none.

Blessedly for me, I found this site called Wordnik. It appears to be a community of word-lovers. There are words for each day plus random words plus ways to interact with others. I'm sure it's worth more than the ten seconds I spent there but those ten seconds were very well spent. Some wonderfully thoughtful person(s) posted a whole list of literary examples on the side of the definition. I'll share the three I liked the most.

"But avaunt ye idle specters, the desires and requests of my friend are a law to me." Letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams, February 11,1784

"Leave me in peace, unwelcome overtures; avaunt, with your desires, ladies, for she who is queen of mine, the peerless." Don Quixote

"I will die a Saxon - true in word, open in deed - I bid thee avaunt! - touch me not, stay me not!" Ivanhoe

See what I mean? There are peerless words as well as women, and I think this may very well be one of them. I cannot think of a word it's equal in meaning or effect. Of course, that could be because it's nearly midnight...but I'd prefer to give the word the credit, not a tired brain ;) Ah, well, I have nothing more to give you but a scene/narrative/clip/call-it-whatever-you-like. Here it is:

"Pray, excuse me," I bowed to the gentlemen circled round me. "There is a matter I must attend to."

They all smiled genially, nodding "of course, of course" and turned their attention to one another. I paused at the doorway to look back. I was not missed. That much was evident, despite every assurance to the contrary given by my grandfather, father, and various other relations. I turned my back to the bright parlor with its soft music and easy conversation and hurried down the west wing. It was best this way. For me to be a visible participant in high society but not a member of any importance.

I took two flights of stairs and a hallway to reach the room my father had kindly reserved for my use. I shut the door as I would any other day. When the handle had clicked shut, though, I listened through the door for footfalls. Satisfied that I had not been followed, I strode to my desk with its twin globes on either end. I spun one until Australia was beneath the iron rim, the other so that Britain was in line. I smiled. My man had done his work well - not the faintest sound was audible. I turned to the bookshelves that lined the wall behind my desk and pressed against the center shelf. The door opened with only the shush of rug beneath and I slipped inside.

"I was beginning to wonder after you, mate." He was sprawled on the ground, throwing and catching his open knife in the air over and over.

"A senseless worry, I assure you," I said.

"If you say." He got to his feet and took a roll of parchment from inside his vest.

I was careful not to snatch the paper out of his grimy hands. I tucked it into my coat.

"You will be recompensed for the service you have rendered me," I said. "Give my name to a Mr. Douglas when you land. He shall see to it."

"And if I want it now?"

"You shall not receive it, Ned. Now, leave. We are finished here."

He stayed, eyeing me.

"Avaunt! Or I shall have you removed."

"Is that so, mate?" He stepped closer, until I could smell the leather and sun on him. "From the hidden compartment of your study? How will you do that?"

"I will do it myself."


  1. Holy cow you are busy!And yet you find time to write a great story. How did you get to be superwoman?

  2. If I ever feel like superwoman instead of a college-student-with-her-head-cut-off, I'll let you know ;)


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