Challenging Word of the Week: Freebooter (filibuster)

(FREE booh tur) noun

A freebooter is a pirate or buccaneer, one who roves about freely in search of booty; an anglicization of the Dutch noun vrijbuiter, based on vriji (free) plus buit (booty). Vrijbuiter gave rise to another word, filibuster, first applied to the pirates of the West Indies in the 17th century, and later to the unlawful groups organized from the United States to invade and foment revolution in some Spanish-American regions, e.g., those of Cuba in 1850-51, Sonora in 1853-54 and Lower California in 1855. Filibuster was metamorphosed into a term for obstructive tactics in legislative proceedings through endless speeches.

This selection is taken from the book, “1000 Most Challenging Words” by Norman W. Schur, ©1987 by the Ballantine Reference Library, Random House.

I post a weekly “Challenging Words” definition to call more attention to this delightful book and to promote interesting word usage in the blogosphere. I challenge other bloggers to work the current word into a post sometime in the coming week. If you manage to do so, please leave a comment or a link to where I can find it.

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