A Mouthful of Word

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is DEPAUPERATE

What an intriguing word! Substance there! You can put it in your mouth and chew on it for awhile. Cut it into quarters like toast. Serve it with jam; it’ll go down easier.

I see four syllables trying to get in a line and take me somewhere, but we’re not making headway because I’m wandering in the dark.

Hauling out the old dictionary, I find this word means just the opposite of what I’d expect. I know what a PAUPER is, and the DE- as a suffix usually means the opposite, or undo. Like desegregate or decipher. To my mind this should be a verb and if someone is depauperated, they’ve just won the lottery, got a government grant, or were hit with a windfall of some kind.

But no. It’s actually an adjective that means – according to Lexico – poorly or imperfectly developed. Merriam-Webster definition:: falling short of natural development or size; impoverished. Like the prairies in a summer of drought. Last summer our sloughs were in a depauperate state.

Oh, well. Live and learn.

Pixabay images:
Toast & jam — Muhammad Ragab
Giraffes — Clicker free vector images
Dry desert — Sebadelval

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