Word of the Day

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

truckle

\TRUHK-uhl\ , intransitive verb;
1.
To yield or bend obsequiously to the will of another; to act in a subservient manner.
noun:
1.
A small wheel or roller; a caster.
Quotes:
Only where there was a "defiance," a "refusal to truckle," a "distrust of all authority," they believed, would institutions "express human aspirations, not crush them."
-- Pauline Maier, "A More Perfect Union", New York Times, October 31, 1999
The son struggled to be obedient to the conventional, commercial values of the father and, at the same time, to maintain his own playful, creative innocence. This conflict could make him truckle in the face of power.
-- Dr. Margaret Brenman-Gibson, quoted in "Theater Friends Recall Life and Works of Odets," by Herbert Mitgang, New York Times, October 30, 1981
I am convinced that, broadly speaking, the audience must accept the piece on my own terms; that it is fatal to truckle to what one conceives to be popular taste.
-- Sidney Joseph Perelman, quoted in "The Perelman Papers," by Herbert Mitgang, New York Times, March 15, 1981
Origin:
Truckle is from truckle in truckle bed (a low bed on wheels that may be pushed under another bed; also called a trundle bed), in reference to the fact that the truckle bed on which the pupil slept was rolled under the large bed of the master. The ultimate source of the word is Greek trokhos, "a wheel."
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