Word of the Day

Thursday, February 09, 2012

screed

\skreed\ , noun, verb;
1.
A long discourse or essay, especially a diatribe.
2.
An informal letter, account, or other piece of writing.
3.
Building Trades. A. A strip of plaster or wood applied to a surface to be plastered to serve as a guide for making a true surface. B. A wooden strip serving as a guide for making a true level surface on a concrete pavement or the like. C. A board or metal strip dragged across a freshly poured concrete slab to give it its proper level.
4.
British Dialect. A fragment or shred, as of cloth.
5.
Scot. A. A tear or rip, especially in cloth. B. A drinking bout.
verb:
1.
Scot. To tear, rip, or shred, as cloth.
Quotes:
By the time this screedgets to you the drafts may have come, but as I've heard nothing yet and been writing for two months now, you'd better have a look anyway. Will you please?
-- Ernest Hemingway, Selected Letters
I bet I could turn out a rattling good screed. Why, last year I almost got the prize. I sent in fearfully hot stuff.
-- P. G. Wodehouse, The Prefect's Uncle
Origin:
Screed is related to the Old English word for shred. Its alternate sense of a long speech was first recorded in 1789 and may be related to the sense of the word meaning a long lists of names.
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