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Subject: An elusive word
Question: Good evening. For years I have been searching for the word which
describes the following action:

* two people who, upon accidentally meeting face-to-face as they
walk towards each other, move left then right then left again in a
comical yet unsuccessful attempt to bypass one another.

Please put me out of my misery.



Reply: I’ve seen (literally, only in writing) the word “polkadodge” applied to what you describe. In Portuguese, for example, this is called “tango bouncing”, in free translation, so the resulting unwilling dance-like movements seem to be common to the meaning of both words.
The Urban Dictionary gives a definition for polkadodge:


I tried the Oxford English Dictionary, but it seems to frown at the word’s inclusion in its database – at least according to this Telegraph report from a few years back:


A couple of other “non-words” listed here may be of interest to you, too!

Reply From: Madalena Cruz-Ferreira      click here to access email
Date: 22-Jul-2013
Other Replies:
  1. Re: An elusive word    Steven Schaufele     (24-Jul-2013)
  2. Re: An elusive word    Anthea Fraser Gupta     (21-Jul-2013)
  3. Re: An elusive word    M J Hardman     (18-Jul-2013)
  4. Re: An elusive word    Geoffrey Richard Sampson     (19-Jul-2013)

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