Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Wear the skin off or condemn -- excoriate

From David Brooks' column in today's Times:

On June 15, 1993, [Rep. Jim] Cooper [D-TN] met with [then First Lady Hillary] Clinton to discuss their differences. Clinton was “ice cold” at the meeting, Cooper recalls. “It was the coldest reception of my life. I was excoriated.”

ex·co·ri·ate (ĭk-skôr'ē-āt', -skōr'-) verb
1) To tear or wear off the skin of; abrade. See synonyms at chafe.
2) To censure strongly; denounce: an editorial that excoriated the administration for its inaction. Synonym: condemn

[Middle English excoriaten, from Latin excoriāre, excoriāt- : ex-, ex- + corium, skin.]

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