Word of the Day

Sunday, August 14, 2011


\BURK\ , verb;
To suppress or get rid of by some indirect maneuver.
To murder, as by suffocation, so as to leave no or few marks of violence.
If he means that the reviewers will burke me as far as they can, no doubt he is right; but when I am dead there will be other reviewers and I have already done enough to secure that they shall from time to time look me up.
-- Samuel Butler, The Notebooks of Samuel Butler
Holding her was a rage and a torment and there was the dressing-gown and the teddy and 'Chop, chop, here comes a chopper' to burke him.
-- Audrey Lillian Barker, John Brown's body
"Burke owes its existence as a verb to W. Burke, hanged in 1829 in Edinburgh for a series of brutal murders."
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