June 16, 2007

Obscure words

I just encountered a word that I don't think I've ever seen before, though it took only a moment to realize what it meant. The word is scacchically.

It is the adverb derived from scacchic "of or pertaining to chess". It appeared in the sentence:

The queen is a piece I recognize, and so is the knight, but what, scacchically, is a "rushdie" and how does it move on the board?

which is a humorous comment on a report to the effect that the Queen has knighted Salman Rushdie. Scacchically means "from the point of view of chess" or "as it pertains to chess".

The adjective scacchic is presumably borrowed from Italian scacchico since it is otherwise difficult to account for the specific form it takes together with the insertion of the <h> following Italian spelling conventions (to keep the sound of the <c> a hard [k] rather than the soft [tʃ] it would be immediately preceding <i>).

Posted by Bill Poser at June 16, 2007 03:24 PM