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Word of the week – skimble-skamble

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skimble-skamble;  adjective

rambling and confused : senseless

Example Sentence:

“What a lark it is to tag along after constantly astonished Alice as she meets up with all those skimble-skamble Lewis Carroll creations,” raved one theater critic of an adaptation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Did you know?

One of the best examples of “skimble-skamble” used in context is also its first known use. It occurs in Shakespeare’s Henry IV when Hotspur speaks of Mortimer’s father: “Sometimes he angers me / With telling me of the moldwarp and the ant, / Of the dreamer Merlin and his prophecies, / And of a dragon and a finless fish… / And such a deal of skimble-skamble stuff….” After reading Hotspur’s rambling, we can clearly understand the word’s meaning, but from whence did the Bard come up with the word? More than likely, he coined the word as a reduplication of “scamble,” a word meaning “to stumble along” that was widely used during his time but is now only heard in some English dialects.

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