Martha Stewart Living Radio: The Radio Blog

Word of the Day: sabotage

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Sabotage means to throw someone else’s plan off course. Think of a sabotage as an obstruction. But sabotage is actually French for walking loudly. Remember the sabot? This wooden shoe, with a leather strap across the front, was worn primarily by peasants. Just to prove the point, look for boot in the second half of sabot. There has long been an assumption that striking workers used to throw their wooden shoes at their machinery, to destroy it. But there’s no evidence to support this colorful piece of folklore. Basically, it’s impossible to wear a heavy wooden shoe without sabotaging silence.

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