Weird Word: Espy

by on Mar.30, 2012, under Announcements

Espy

Verb

  • To catch sight of; to perceive with the eyes; to discover, as a distant object partly concealed, or not obvious to notice; to see at a glance; to discern unexpectedly; to spy; as, to espy land; to espy a man in a crowd.
  • To inspect narrowly; to examine and keep watch upon; to watch; to observe.
  • To look or search narrowly; to look about; to watch; to take notice; to spy.

Used in a sentence:

  • She leaned in close to the circuitry, espying the loose wire that was keeping the entire contraption from exploding right in her face.

SourceWiktionary

Commentary:

So here is a word that is actually a word, that I will likely never use. Why? Because spy works just as well for everything espy does. Okay I take that back. I totally could see using espy to fill out the grammar of a haughty know-it-all, or a character that is out of touch with modern language. So I do have a use for it. Espy likely was used before spy and it wouldn’t surprise me if it was one of the words Webster decided was too British and therefor lopped off the e to make the American version of spy. Or some other strange tale of why spy encompasses everything espy means.

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