Word of the Day

Tuesday, July 29, 2003


\AB-uh-twahr\ , noun;
A slaughterhouse.
Cal's father works in the local abattoir and had found Cal a job there, too, but he quit after a week because he couldn't stand the smell.
-- Anatole Broyard, "Domesticated Violence", New York Times, August 20, 1983
While shooting down a triple espresso -- "I need the kick start" -- and looking for all the world like James Joyce buffed up on steroids, Ellroy rips into American culture like a chainsaw in an abattoir with the volume turned up.
-- Terry McCarthy, "James Ellroy Confidential", Time, May 21, 2001
And Lambar's shadow spread itself right before me, hovering in the attitude of a vulture in the vicinity of an abattoir.
-- Nuruddin Farah, Secrets
Abattoir comes from French, from abattre, "to beat down, to slaughter (an animal)," from a- (from Latin ad-) + battre, "to beat," from Latin battuere.
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