squeamish » squirmish

Classification: English

Spotted in the wild:

  • The giant Australian prawns ($24.95), served with the heads on (just a warning for those who are squirmish about that sort of thing), were imbued with a great smoky flavor. (Dale Rice, American-Statesman Restaurant Critic, posted on Truluck's site: Nov 2, 2005)
  • And the muchado about nothing regarding DoD paid propoganda in Iraq also shows that the idea of “winning hearts and minds” sound great as a concept, but Americans (or at least the media) is squirmish when they actually see it in action. (Daniel W. Drezner's blog, comment, Dec 05 2005)
  • [poster Supafly:]Don’t get squirmish about some fake titties in the camera.
    [poster Trilex:] I’m not squirmish but I was just embarressed cuz my uncle, my cousins dad was there! (Nexodyne Forums, Aug 22, 2003)
  • The Passion Of Christ, Not for the Squirmish (Expats In China)

Analyzed or reported by:

  • Linda Seebach (via e-mail)

Linda Seebach, editorial writer at the _Rocky Mountain News_, supplied the example from Daniel Drezner’s blog.

The words _squeamish_ and _squirm_ both have comparatively unclear etymologies, but don’t appear to spring from a common origin. The former is several centuries older than the latter.

Sometimes, _squirmish_ can be found where the noun _skirmish_ would be expected. An example from and interview transcript on ABC Online, Australia:

> The story of the appointment of Robert Gerard has become a proxy leadership squirmish between supporters of Peter Costello and John Howard.

| link | entered by Chris Waigl, 2005/12/09 |


  1. 1

    Commentary by Simon , 2005/12/16 at 5:57 am

    hmm seems like a conscious creation to me is there any evidence of confusion?

  2. 2

    Commentary by Sean , 2006/01/01 at 8:53 am

    A friend of mine calls the paintball game ‘Skirmish’ Squirmish just to be funny. Deliberate malaprop though…

  3. 3

    Commentary by Cryptic Ned , 2006/10/19 at 12:02 am

    Guided by Voices recorded a song called “Squirmish Frontal Room” in 1991. The lyrics don’t make any sense, so it’s difficult to tell if “squeamish” is what they meant to say. There is sort of a sense of revulsion and “not wanting to do something” implied though.

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