You searched for: “oath
oaf, oath
oaf (OHF) (noun)
An insult indicating that someone is regarded as unintelligent, clumsy, or uncultured: Dennis's sister said, "Oh, come on Dennis, quit making such blunders, you big oaf!"
oath (OHTH) (noun)
1. A solemn, formal declaration or promise to fulfill a pledge, often calling on God, a god, or a sacred object as witness: They were required to take an oath of loyalty.
2. A formal and serious promise to tell the truth or to do something: When he joined the military service, he took an oath to defend his nation.
3. An irreverent or blasphemous use of the name of God or something held sacred: Trisha uttered an oath that was offensive and which was used to express anger and frustration.

The police officer, who must have been an oaf, insisted that Mildred take an oath not to disturb the peace during the parade.

Flubber Hall of Fame, Oaf of office

On Tuesday, January 20, 2009, Chief Justice John Roberts joined the Flubber Hall of Fame when he administered the presidential oath of office apparently without notes.

Instead of having Barack Obama "solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States," Roberts had him "solemnly swear that I will execute the office of president to the United States faithfully."

When Obama paused after "execute", the chief justice prompted him to continue with "faithfully the office of president of the United States."

Language pedants hew to an oral tradition of shibboleths that have no basis in logic or style, that have been defied by great writers for centuries, and that have been disavowed by every thoughtful usage manual.

Nevertheless, they refuse to go away, perpetuated by the Gotcha!Gang and meekly obeyed by insecure writers.

Among these fetishes is the prohibition against "split verbs", in which an adverb comes between an infinitive marker like "to", or an auxiliary like "will", and the main verb of the sentence; for example, when Captain Kirk of the starship "Enterprise" said, "to boldly go where no man has gone before"; it should have been "to go boldly where no man has gone before".

When Chief Justice John Roberts changed the oath of office from "solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States" to "solemnly swear that I will execute the office of president to the United States faithfully", he is accused of making the "oath of office" an "oaf of office".

—Excerpted and compiled from an article titled
"Flubber Hall of Fame, Oaf of office" by Steven Pinker
(chairman of the English-usage panel of The American Heritage Dictionary);
International Herald Tribune, January 23, 2009; Editorials & Commentary; page 6.

oath, minced oath
oath (OHTH) (noun)
1. A commitment to tell the truth; especially, in a court of law: To lie under oath is to become subject to prosecution for perjury.
2. A solemn promise, usually invoking a divine witness, regarding one's future acts or behavior: Jason took an oath of allegiance to his country.
3. A profane or obscene expression usually of surprise or anger: Aurora was heard screaming an oath of "damn it!" after she hit her finger with the hammer.
minced oath (MINST ohth") (noun)
1. A type of euphemism based on a profanity that has been altered to reduce or to remove the disagreeable or objectionable characteristics of the original expression: One example of a minced oath is to use "heck" for "hell".
2. The use of a word or phrase to replace another one which is considered less offensive or less vulgar than the word or phrase it replaces: Another example of a minced oath is to say "dang it" or "darn it" instead of "damn it".

From time to time when Scott gets upset, he has been known to mutter an oath; however, depending on the person he is going to talk to, he tries to be careful and to use a minced oath now and then, if he feels the need to express his feelings in stronger ways.

(Greek > Latin > French: bind by oath; calling up or driving out of [evil] spirits)
Word Entries at Get Words: “oath
oath (OHTH) (s) (noun), oaths (pl)
1. A promise, commitment, pledge typically undertaken during a ceremony: Every U.S. President must take an oath to uphold the Constitution.
2. Vulgarity, curses, profanities often expressed due to surprise or in reaction to the unexpected: The carpenter let out a stream of oaths when he hit his thumb with his hammer.
This entry is located in the following unit: English Words in Action, Group O (page 1)