Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Straddle

Definition: (from dictionary.com)
-verb (used without object)
1. to walk, stand, or sit with the legs wide apart; stand or sit astride
2. to stand wide apart, as the legs
3. to favor or appear to favor both sides of an issue, political division, or the like, at once; maintain an equivocal position
-verb (used with object)
4. to walk, stand, or sit with one leg on each side of; stand or sit astride of
5. to spread (the legs) wide apart
6. to favor or appear to favor both sides of (an issue, political division, etc.)
-noun
7. an act or instance of straddling
8. the distance straddled over
9. the taking of a noncommittal position

Examples:
"The politician straddled between the two sides of the issue to please all his constituents."
"The wrestler straddled his opponent and pinned him to the ground."

Origin: (from etymonline.com)
"1560s, 'spread the legs wide,' probably an alteration of striddle (mid-15c.), frequentative of striden (see stride (v.)). Transitive sense 'place one leg on one side of and the other on the other side of' is from 1670s. U.S. colloquial figurative sense of 'take up an equivocal position, appear to favor both sides' is attested from 1838. The noun is first recorded 1610s."

Awkwardness rating: 4

Straddling issues is a favorite tool of many politicians. (czarjustice.com)

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