Thursday, February 25, 2010

Word of the Week 8: Inveigle

Inveigle (vb) - 1. to entice, lure, or ensnare by flattery or artful talk or inducements (usually fol. by into): to inveigle a person into playing bridge 2. to acquire, win, or obtain by beguiling talk or methods (usually fol. by from or away): to inveigle a theater pass from a person (

I came across this strange word in Great Expectations last week. Wemmick, in describing to Pip the respect/fear the masses have for Mr. Jaggers, says of the latter's watch, "Mr. Pip, there are about seven hundred thieves in this town who know all about that watch; there's not a man, woman, or child among them, who wouldn't identify the smallest link in that chain, and drop it as if it was a red-hot, if inveigled into touching it." - Charles Dickens

Such an odd sound this word has, hence my extra notice of it as I was reading. It has a familiar tone to conniving; perhaps it's the "v?" The "v" does have a sinisterness to it, as in "villain" and "vain" and "vermin." Its pronunciation has a combination of subtle breath and forcefulness. Ah, words!

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