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Nov 20, 2014
This week's theme
Words borrowed from German

This week's words
gemeinschaft
strafe
gleichschaltung
sitzkrieg
leitmotif

sitzkrieg
UK army personnel, Nov 28, 1939
Photo: Lt. Keating G.

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

sitzkrieg

PRONUNCIATION:
(SITS-kreeg)

MEANING:
noun: A period of war marked by little or no active hostilities.

ETYMOLOGY:
Modeled after German blitzkrieg, from sitzen (to sit) + Krieg (war). Earliest documented use: 1940.

NOTES:
In Sep 1939, France and Britain declared war on Germany, but didn't launch a major ground offensive until the next year. This phase, from Sep 1939 to May 1940, came to be known as sitzkrieg or the sitting war. It has also been called by other names, such as the Phoney War, the Twilight War, and the Bore War (a pun on Boer Wars). Sitzkrieg needs sitzfleisch.

USAGE:
"This has been a period of lull: this war's first, but not last, sitzkrieg."
Michael Kelly; What Now?; The Atlantic Monthly (Boston); Oct 2002.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The truth isn't always beauty, but the hunger for it is. -Nadine Gordimer, novelist, Nobel laureate (1923-2014)

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