today's wwftd is... cantrip
- the worthless word for the day is: cantrip
[origin uncertain, perhaps alt. of caltrop]
1) Scots : a magic spell, a witch's trick
2) chiefly British : a deceptive move; a sham
"Coffins stood round, like open presses,
That shaw'd the Dead in their last dresses;
And (by some devilish cantraip sleight)
Each in its cauld hand held a light.
By which heroic Tam was able
To note upon the haly table,
A murderer's banes, in gibbet-airns..."
- Robbie Burns, Tam O'Shanter (1790)
""God forgive us all!" thocht Mr. Soulis, "poor Janet's
dead." He cam' a step nearer to the corp; an' then his
heart fair whammled in his inside. For-by what cantrip
it wad ill beseem a man to judge-she was hingin' frae a
single nail an' by a single wursted thread for darnin'
- Robert Lewis Stevenson, Thrawn Janet (1881)
(this passage is quoted by RLS in Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde)