Betsy Whitt

I read. I write. I think. I live.

Is Eking (Ekeing?) Moot?

Has anyone else noticed that not very many people eke things out any more? Has eking gone the way of “gee whiz” and “shucks”? It’s a point worth pondering.

Also, does anyone know when moot shifted from being the term for an assembly gathered for debate and became something irrelevant? Was it early cynics responding to burgeoning bureaucracy? If you know, I’d like to hear from you.

Here’s hoping I can eke out a good night’s sleep despite the knot in my shoulder that sends shooting pains down my arm every few minutes. Then again, it’s a moot point, since I have to be awake for work in the morning whether or not I sleep well.



  1. Using moot to mean something irrelevant actually is a purely American usage that came out of the development of our legal system. Everywhere else it still means a gathering for debate.

    I have to say I never used eke, thought i do use ekk quite a bit. Shucks and gee whiz still have life in them back in New Hampshire along with jeez, doggon, and i’m sure other words that will pop out when i’m talking to family, but i can’t forcibly recall at the moment

  2. It may be a year and a half late, but I’m with ya.

    Can you really make a gerund out of eke?

    I’ve always been in love with untranslatable phrases, like, “Well, I never!”

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