purloin


to steal

TRANSLATION

purloin = stehlen, entwenden; etw. mitgehen lassen

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

“After using a previously PURLOINED master key to gain access, he emerged with three large rucksacks – one on his back and two in each hand – which held the bottles he had stashed, and which were stuffed with hotel towels to protect the bottles.”

Sam Jones – The Guardian, ‘Police arrest couple over €1.6m wine heist from Spanish restaurant’ (20 July 2022)

Did you
know?

purloin
verb (formal, humorous)

- to steal (something)

- to steal it or borrow something without asking permission

- to appropriate wrongfully and often by a breach of trust

Oxford Dictionaries / Collins Dictionary / Merriam-Webster


WORD ORIGIN

"Purloin", which rhymes but should not be confused with "sirloin" (a cut of beef eaten as steak), is from the Anglo-French purloigner (remove) by way of the Old French porloigner (delay, drag out, be far away from), which in turn derived from the Latin pro (forth) + Old French loing (far). The sense of “stealing” surfaced in English in the mid-16th century.

But what about “loins”? In sirloin and tenderloin, “loin” refers to the side of the body of an animal that is used for food and derives from the French loigne, which is the hip or lumbar (lower back) region, by way of the Latin lumbus.


THE MANY WAYS TO STEAL

While “steal” is the most common verb to describe taking another’s property wrongfully, there are other similar verbs with sometimes subtle differences:

- to PURLOIN is a formal and sometimes humorous way to describe theft involving a breach of trust (He purloined the key to his cousin’s safe-deposit box)

- to FILCH suggests that what is stolen is of little value (They filched towels from the hotel)

- to PILFER involves theft of, or in small quantities (They pilfered fruit from the farmer)

- to SWIPE suggests quick, furtive snatching or seizing (She swiped a magazine from the rack)

- to LIFT is to take something secretly and keep it for oneself (Pickpockets lift wallets from subway passengers)

- to PINCH can apply loosely to any kind of stealing, but literally it means taking something by picking it up between the thumb and the fingers (He pinched a dollar from the cash register)


SYNONYMS

- to take the property of another, often in breach of trust:

abduct, abscond with, annex, appropriate, arrogate, avail yourself of, bag, be light-fingered, burglarize, burgle, carry/cart away (off), clap hands on, commandeer, cop, deprive of property, expropriate, filch, finger, fleece, gain possession of, get one’s fingers/hands on, go walkies, have sticky fingers, heist, help oneself to, knock off (over), lay claim to, liberate, lift, line one’s pockets/purse with, loot, make away with, make free/off with, make use of, misappropriate, moonlight requisition, nab, nick, nobble, palm, pickpocket, pilfer, pinch, pocket, PURLOIN, put hand in cookie jar, requisition, rifle, run/rush away/off with, scrump, sequester, siphon off, skim, snatch, snitch, souvenir, spirit away, steal, swindle, swipe, take possession of, thieve, trouser, usurp, walk away/off with, whip, whisk (away, off)


THE COIN
by Sara Teasdale (1884 - 1933)

Into my heart’s treasury
I slipped a coin
That time cannot take
Nor a thief purloin,
Oh better than the minting
Of a gold-crowned king
Is the safe-kept memory
Of a lovely thing.


SMUGGLE OWAD into an English conversation, say something like:

“Hey! Who PURLOINED the last cookie while I was out of the room?”


THANKS to Gloria for suggesting today's OWAD.


HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations at:

https://donorbox.org/please-become-a-friend-of-owad-3

and,

Paul Smith, IBAN: DE75 7316 0000 0002 5477 40

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