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Word of the Day
Saturday, August 10, 2013

Definitions for helter-skelter

  1. in headlong and disorderly haste: The children ran helter-skelter all over the house.
  2. in a haphazard manner; without regard for order: Clothes were scattered helter-skelter about the room.
  3. carelessly hurried; confused: They ran in a mad, helter-skelter fashion for the exits.

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Citations for helter-skelter
The same obstacle appeared in a minor degree to cling about his verbal exposition, and accounted perhaps for his rather helter-skelter choice of remarks bearing on the number of unaddressed letters sent to the post-office… George Eliot, Impressions of Theophrastus Such, 1879
His enormous bellow of rage was the signal for Mrs. Hook to run helter-skelter down the alley to take up station in their traditional battleground at its entrance. John Moore, Portrait of Elmbury, 1945
Origin of helter-skelter
The origin of helter-skelter is unknown, though it is perhaps onomatopoetic. It entered English in the late 1500s and employs a reduplicated rhyme similar to the words hurry-scurry and harum-scarum.
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