July 03, 2012
rouse (verb)
\ROWZZ\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : awake2 : to make or become active : stir up
How do you use it?
"Lucy was such a light sleeper that stepping on a creaky floorboard or speaking in a normal voice near her could easily rouse her." (Kevin Henkes, Olive's Ocean)
Are you a word wiz?

When "rouse" was first used in English hundreds of years ago it had a very different meaning than it does today. Which of the following do you think is the original meaning of "rouse"?

"Rouse" was originally used in the context of falconry, which is the art of training hawks to hunt in cooperation with a person. When a hawk "roused," it shook its feathers. Later, a hunted animal that emerged from its hiding place was said to be "roused." Nowadays, we usually talk about people being roused. We might say "The sound of the door bell roused me from a nap" or "Talk of fireworks roused the children from their chairs and sent them running outside."
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