Wednesday, February 10, 2010

New Word Wednesday

 [biv-oo-ak, biv-wak]

1. a military encampment made with tents or improvised shelters, usually without shelter or protection from enemy fire.

2. the place used for such an encampment.

–verb (used without object)

3. to rest or assemble in such an area; encamp.


I came across this word several times as I was reading War and Peace. I got the basic meaning down but wasn't quite sure of the pronunciation until I heard Seth use it the other day. He was talking about a time he was on a scout bivouac. He pronounced it "biv-wack", as in the 2nd pronunciation suggestion above. I'd been saying it "biv-oo-wack," which apparently isn't wrong (according to the 1st pronunciation shown above), but I figure "biv-wack" is probably a more common pronunciation if that's how Seth says it. Plus I want to be just like Seth. Anyway, I figure this word is kind of an alternative to "camp" or "camping." As in, "I'm going to head up to the Uintas this weekend for some bivouacing." Say this to your buddies at work and they'll think you're really adventureous. And insanely smart.