Monday, September 25, 2006

Explosive Applause

The base -plod-/-plos- helps to form some interesting words. Both forms are derived from the Latin verb plaudere, to clap the hands.

displode [obs] To drive out or discharge with explosive violence: literally, pushing or clapping something away.

explode [obs] to clap or hoot a player off the stage: literally, to clap out

implode To burst inwards: literally, to clap or smash in

supplode [obs. rare] To stamp with the feet: literally, to applaud beneath.

We still use implode and explode, but the clapping sense has long been lost.

That meaning remains more explicitly in the related base -plaud-. Thus, we have applaud (to clap the hands in expression of approbation) and plaudits (praise given when an action is enthusiastically received; directed applause.)

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