An Advent Gift

I was this many years old when I first saw “squidge” in the wild.

Squidge through the muddy fields, as my family and I did this last St Patrick’s day, climb over a wall or two and you find yourself faced with a small site hemmed in by drystone walls.The Abbey of Misrule, Paul Kingsnorth

I looked it up.

squidge (skwij)

OK, that’s how to pronounce it (which wasn’t really in question). Neither was the meaning of such an evocative word in serious question, but I was interested to see what the formalists would say.

to squash, most often between one’s fingers (Wiktionary)

• to squash or squeeze (something soft) or (of something soft) to become squashed (Collins); informal, British English; word frequency: 1 out of 5

• to squelch (sense 2) (Merriam-Webster), which then gives two “sense 2’s”:

: to emit or move with a sucking sound (transitive)
: to splash through water, slush, or mire (intransitive)

Hey! Another new usage: “mire” as a noun.

: wet spongy earth (as of a bog or marsh)
: heavy often deep mud or slush
: a troublesome or intractable situation

And here we have it: to splash/trudge (if I may be so bold) across land that is boggy or muddy (per the actual squidger whose muddy boots-on-the-ground status takes precedence, I think).

Me, I like to keep my boots dry (and under me), so I don’t see a lot of opportunity to use this variant of squidging in my future, but there is always the “squash or squeeze something, soft or otherwise, most often between one’s fingers.” As in this revisited recipe instruction:

Squidge the bag of chicken thighs and marinade
to evenly coat each piece of chicken.

Lovely, innit?


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8 Responses to An Advent Gift

  1. Alison says:

    It’s a lovely and evocative word. I shall try and use it more often 🙂

  2. Judith Umbach says:

    An evocative case of onomatopoeia (word sounds like the real-world sound). (No I couldn’t spell onomatopoeia without looking it up. Don’t know if I ever spelled it before.)

    Let me add “squidgy” as the mouth-feel of rich, extra-chocolate, slightly underbaked brownies, as heard on a baking show.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Judith – Squidgy! Excellent – and much closer to the mark than “squishy” would be, for sure. Thanks!

  3. I shall squidge to the driveway because the entire yard is squidgy on this plus-or-minus-one frosty day. There, it’s mine for life and all-too useful, probably through April 2024, at least. And if not in the yard, in the kitchen!

  4. Tom Watson says:

    You’ve squidged a new word into my vocabulary. Thanks.

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