Word of the Day: extirpate
origin: from the Latin "extirpat"; "ex-" + "stirps" root -- to uproot
1. To pull up by the roots.
" They shall act like good husbandmen when they extirpate noxious
weeds and prickly thorns from the wheatfield."
--The Prophecy of St. Francis de Paul
2. To destroy totally; exterminate.
"The Anglo-Saxon hive have extirpated 'Paganism' from the
greater part of the North American continent; but with it they
have likewise extirpated the greater part of the Red race."
--Herman Melville "Typee" (1846)
Melville wrote "Typee" while living among the natives of the Marquesas
Islands, in the South Pacific. He was AWOL from his dutiesas a crewman
on an American sailing ship visiting the area. Melville stayed some
months documenting the life of the inhabitants and their forebears
before leaving on another ship. The novel he produced, "Typee", is the
major source of information about a culture that was nearly extirpated
when 95% of the population was killed by Western-borne diseases. The
Marquesas Islands are now part of French Polynesia, a territory of
France,. The Marquesean people, who now make up an estimated 92% of
the population, are increasingly showing interest in such texts as a way
to reclaim those parts of their culture that have been lost.
Publish Date: 01/20/2011