What’s an ambuscader?

Reading time: Less than 1 minute

Increase your vocabulary and you’ll make your writing much more precise. That’s why I provide a word of the week. Today’s word: ambuscader.

One of my readers, Richard Holden, has published a collection of short stories in a genre he calls “Elderlit.” I hadn’t before heard the term so he sent me a copy of his book, La Belle Residence, so I could read it myself.

I did, and I found it very entertaining and well written. Essentially, a collection of stories about people in an assisted living home, the book explores the predictable afflictions of the elderly but does so in a way that’s fresh and diverting.

Holden, a retired college administrator and journalism teacher, also achieved something else. He gave me a word I didn’t know, ambuscader. Here is the sentence in which he used it:

Edna was a rail-thin octogenarian with a cultured and dignified face that contradicted her reputation as ambuscader. 

An ambuscader, it turns out, is someone who ambushes, or who is involved in an ambush. The origin of the word is French,  embuscade from the verb embusquer, to ambush, which, in turn, comes from the  Italian imboscare, meaning the same thing. 

I’m guessing it’s one of those words likely to be familiar to someone more closely connected with any war than I’ve been. (Luckily for me!)

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