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Ask-A-Linguist Message Details
|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. Regards Michael|
|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: http://www.urbandictionary.com/products.php?term=Polkadodge&defid=5143179 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: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/7926646/Secret-vault-of-words-rejected-by-the-Oxford-English-Dictionary-uncovered.html A couple of other “non-words” listed here may be of interest to you, too! Madalena|
|Reply From:||Madalena Cruz-Ferreira click here to access email|