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In what sense do you use the word Provaricate?

In what sense do you use the word Provaricate?

Old Feb 11th 2010, 12:50 am
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Default In what sense do you use the word Provaricate?

So, I was out at dinner in Shad Thames this eve, when my compadres asked me what I intended to order - to which I answered that I was prevaricating between the guinea fowl and the T-bone steak.

To which one person quipped - What? You mean you are deliberately lying to us about what you are going to choose? After which followed a brief digression as to the correct usage of the word.

To my mortificiation, a brief google as to the etymology of the word revealed that it is derived from the Latin to mean "to walk with bowed legs", or indeed to delibertaely conceal the truth. A further search revealed that in common parlance, it is used to convey a sense of indecision or procrastinaion - which is linguistically incorrect, but certainly the sense in which I have understood it hitherto.

I am fond of the word - but unsure now how to use it in the future.....

Any thoughts?

{excuse any sp errors, pls, red wine dyslexia..............}

Last edited by shakh your bootie; Feb 11th 2010 at 12:54 am.
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Old Feb 11th 2010, 12:56 am
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Default Re: In what sense do you use the word Provaricate?

so you were in some poncey gasto-joint when what you really wanted was some good ol east london pie and mash with liquor and jellied eels
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Old Feb 11th 2010, 1:05 am
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Default Re: In what sense do you use the word Prevaricate?

Originally Posted by saudiflares View Post
so you were in some poncey gasto-joint when what you really wanted was some good ol east london pie and mash with liquor and jellied eels
You'd have to travel beyond Mile End Rd to find that these days - even Borough Market these days is a haven for organically grown single-source produce, the kinda place where you can almost personalyy shake the hoof of the cow, pig, lamb or kangaroo whose pound of flesh you are angling to purchase.....

But I can thoroughly recommend the WoolPack on Bermondsey Street - great food, but they need to work on their Caipiroska...

Oh, and I think in retrospect a better word is vacillitate.....

Last edited by shakh your bootie; Feb 11th 2010 at 1:13 am.
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Old Feb 11th 2010, 2:32 am
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Default Re: In what sense do you use the word Provaricate?

Originally Posted by shakh your bootie View Post
So, I was out at dinner in Shad Thames this eve, when my compadres asked me what I intended to order - to which I answered that I was prevaricating between the guinea fowl and the T-bone steak.

To which one person quipped - What? You mean you are deliberately lying to us about what you are going to choose? After which followed a brief digression as to the correct usage of the word.

To my mortificiation, a brief google as to the etymology of the word revealed that it is derived from the Latin to mean "to walk with bowed legs", or indeed to delibertaely conceal the truth. A further search revealed that in common parlance, it is used to convey a sense of indecision or procrastinaion - which is linguistically incorrect, but certainly the sense in which I have understood it hitherto.

I am fond of the word - but unsure now how to use it in the future.....

Any thoughts?

{excuse any sp errors, pls, red wine dyslexia..............}
Anyone who cannot decide between guinea fowl and a T-bone is indeed a complete and utter vacillator.............
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Old Feb 11th 2010, 2:39 am
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Default Re: In what sense do you use the word Provaricate?

Originally Posted by shakh your bootie View Post
So, I was out at dinner in Shad Thames this eve, when my compadres asked me what I intended to order - to which I answered that I was prevaricating between the guinea fowl and the T-bone steak.

To which one person quipped - What? You mean you are deliberately lying to us about what you are going to choose? After which followed a brief digression as to the correct usage of the word.

To my mortificiation, a brief google as to the etymology of the word revealed that it is derived from the Latin to mean "to walk with bowed legs", or indeed to delibertaely conceal the truth. A further search revealed that in common parlance, it is used to convey a sense of indecision or procrastinaion - which is linguistically incorrect, but certainly the sense in which I have understood it hitherto.

I am fond of the word - but unsure now how to use it in the future.....

Any thoughts?

{excuse any sp errors, pls, red wine dyslexia..............}
To be honest, I've never thought of 'prevaricate' as having a deceiving or concealing meaning......... Word's Thesaurus has dither, put off, beat about the bush...... but wouldn't have the implied meaning of lying in some way.

I recall that your daughter is about to embark on a degree course and (no doubt) career in which the word may come in handy - can't you ask her?
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Old Feb 11th 2010, 4:27 am
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Default Re: In what sense do you use the word Provaricate?

Originally Posted by shakh your bootie View Post
So, I was out at dinner in Shad Thames this eve, when my compadres asked me what I intended to order - to which I answered that I was prevaricating between the guinea fowl and the T-bone steak.

To which one person quipped - What? You mean you are deliberately lying to us about what you are going to choose? After which followed a brief digression as to the correct usage of the word.

To my mortificiation, a brief google as to the etymology of the word revealed that it is derived from the Latin to mean "to walk with bowed legs", or indeed to delibertaely conceal the truth. A further search revealed that in common parlance, it is used to convey a sense of indecision or procrastinaion - which is linguistically incorrect, but certainly the sense in which I have understood it hitherto.

I am fond of the word - but unsure now how to use it in the future.....

Any thoughts?

{excuse any sp errors, pls, red wine dyslexia..............}
It's amazing how we all use words differently. I would have answered... "not sure mate, either the steak or the game"
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Old Feb 11th 2010, 4:59 am
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Default Re: In what sense do you use the word Provaricate?

From OED:

prevaricate /prI"varIkeIt/
· v. speak or act evasively.
– DERIVATIVES prevarication n. prevaricator n.
– ORIGIN C16 (earlier (ME) as prevarication and prevaricator), in the sense ‘go astray, transgress’: from L. praevaricat-, praevaricari ‘walk crookedly, deviate’.


I too always used it in the sense of not being sure/delaying which choice to make.
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Old Feb 11th 2010, 6:29 am
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Default Re: In what sense do you use the word Provaricate?

Maybe the word you were looking for was "procrastinating"?
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Old Feb 11th 2010, 6:42 am
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Default Re: In what sense do you use the word Provaricate?

First time I heard this word used a lot was Jamie Shea at the NATO press conferences during the Kosovo conflict. I think with todays usage, it can be quite an ambiguous word - can mean concealing or indecision. From a press conference 9 June 99

"Blah blah..... But as we are dealing with Belgrade, we will also be optimistically cautious until we see what the results are going to be. But I hope that President Milosevic will seize this opportunity to make peace, because every day that President Milosevic continues to procrastinate and to prevaricate is another day" .... blah blah

I tend to use it for indecision....
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Old Feb 11th 2010, 7:14 am
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Default Re: In what sense do you use the word Provaricate?

I use it to explain...no, not that. I'll say it when...no, not that either. I'd probably include it when someone...no, I don't mean that.

But what you're saying is I should use it to say
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Old Feb 11th 2010, 10:17 am
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Default Re: In what sense do you use the word Provaricate?

Originally Posted by shakh your bootie View Post
So, I was out at dinner in Shad Thames this eve, when my compadres asked me what I intended to order - to which I answered that I was prevaricating between the guinea fowl and the T-bone steak.

To which one person quipped - What? You mean you are deliberately lying to us about what you are going to choose? After which followed a brief digression as to the correct usage of the word.

To my mortificiation, a brief google as to the etymology of the word revealed that it is derived from the Latin to mean "to walk with bowed legs", or indeed to delibertaely conceal the truth. A further search revealed that in common parlance, it is used to convey a sense of indecision or procrastinaion - which is linguistically incorrect, but certainly the sense in which I have understood it hitherto.

I am fond of the word - but unsure now how to use it in the future.....

Any thoughts?

{excuse any sp errors, pls, red wine dyslexia..............}
you could contemplate instead...I think.....(English is my second language)
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Old Feb 11th 2010, 11:11 am
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Default Re: In what sense do you use the word Provaricate?

how bloody confusing....I always used the word prevaricate to say "abuse or take advantage of" as thats what it means in Italian (my first language)-bet people must have been thinking what is she blooming on about.....

Anyhow, according to the dictionary it means to evade from the truth....
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Old Feb 11th 2010, 4:53 pm
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Default Re: In what sense do you use the word Provaricate?

Originally Posted by shakh your bootie View Post
So, I was out at dinner in Shad Thames this eve, when my compadres asked me what I intended to order - to which I answered that I was prevaricating between the guinea fowl and the T-bone steak.

To which one person quipped - What? You mean you are deliberately lying to us about what you are going to choose? After which followed a brief digression as to the correct usage of the word.

To my mortificiation, a brief google as to the etymology of the word revealed that it is derived from the Latin to mean "to walk with bowed legs", or indeed to delibertaely conceal the truth. A further search revealed that in common parlance, it is used to convey a sense of indecision or procrastinaion - which is linguistically incorrect, but certainly the sense in which I have understood it hitherto.

I am fond of the word - but unsure now how to use it in the future.....

Any thoughts?

{excuse any sp errors, pls, red wine dyslexia..............}
As you were...you used the word as most people use and understand it. Similar to decimate, which originally meant 1 in 10 to be killed in Roman times but nowadays means to remove a large percentage of and not just 10 per cent.

Same as atheists or agnostics using the word 'goodbye', which literally means 'God be with you'. Often the original meaning is lost in time.
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