Abbreviate: v. shorten, as a word

Time is brief

But abbreviated it can be

Take away E

And you’re left with Tim.

But all you have is Ti

If you take away me.

That’s not a nice trick

To play on him.

And I fear it will only

Lead to grief.

I was thinking and as I was thinking, I realized it’s probably a good idea to share upcoming words the day before, rather than waiting until I make my postings, especially since I haven’t settled on a definite time to do this each day. So, if you’re someone who likes a little time to prepare, here is Monday’s word:

Abdicate: v. give up, as a throne.

If you come up with something for today’s prompt, please share it in the comments. I’d love to read it!

Have a pleasant weekend!


Abbess, Abbey, Abbot

In the interest of not writing about monks and nuns for three days in a row, I decided to group these words into one Dare. Today, all three words must be used instead of the usual one.

Abbess: n. woman who is head of a convent

abbey: n. monastery or convent

abbot: n. man who is head of a monastery


“Quickly, Father, quickly!” The abbess yelled to the abbot.

He huffed and puffed as he ran across the abbey, followed by a bellowing wyvern. He was too old for this sort of thing. His only thought was to keep ahead of the poisonous stinger on the end of its tail. The wyvern thrashed its tail around as it ran on its two legs. It was so distressing, the abbot decided to block out everything from his mind except reaching the doors of the chapel. If he could just reach the chapel, he would be safe. Five hundred feet. Keep running. Two hundred feet. Keep running. One hundred feet. Almost there. He risked a glance behind at the fantastically foul fiend. As he took in its serpent’s head and eagle’s talons, he stubbed his toe and tripped.


And now it is your turn. Work the three dictionary words into a bit of creative writing and post it in the comments. See the Home page if you have any questions about how this is supposed to work. Have fun!


Abattoir: n. slaughterhouse

The bus came to a screeching halt and Mr. Tweed stood up. “Everyone off the bus. We’re here at the abattoir. Remember to be on your best behavior. Single file line, please.”

Jasmine shouldered her backpack and stepped off the bus. She was bombarded by the smells of dung and sweet hay and an iron tang that she knew must be blood.

They weren’t going to watch an actual butchering. Mr. Tweed had wanted that, he thought it would be good for the students to be informed about the whole process, but the parents all revolted. Instead, they were going to see the animals in their pens, hear a lecture about the butchering process, including the humane steps they took to make the passage from life into death as painless as possible for the animals, and then they would be taken to the cooler where the carcasses were hung. They would end off the day with a trip to the butcher shop where they would be given a souvenir. Jasmine hoped it would be bacon.


Abate: v. lessen

After the storm abated, Lily ran outside. Her tire swing was bouncing down the driveway. The old tree was cracked down the middle, its branches thrown helter-skelter across the yard. One of those branches had broken their kitchen window. Through the broken window, she could hear her mom on the phone with the insurance company; her voice was a little panicky. Goosebumps covered Lily’s arm and she shivered. The sky was that strange shade of muddy mustard yellow that follows a thunderstorm. As she took in the carnage, something small caught her eye. It was a dandelion. A wish ball. Somehow, the delicate dandelion still held onto some of its wishes.

What creation can you come up with for today’s word? Have fun with it! I dare you!


Abash: v. to embarrass

Down to the lake I went one day

And tore off my clothes, unabashed

I walked twenty paces

To get a head start

Then I ran into the lake

And it splashed and splashed

And splashed

Post your own short creative work based on this word in the comments. Have fun! Let your imagination run free! If you’re new and don’t understand what’s going on here, check out the introductory post on the home page.


v. to humble

She walked toward the director’s office to plead for her job, ready to abase herself to the lowest level necessary. As she walked, her stilettos went click click click. She squared her shoulders and took another step. But it was silent because the heels of her shoes had melted away. She took another step and looked to her left. All she could see was the grain of wood. Her head barely reached her coworker’s desk. With her next step her shoes became almost too heavy to lift. When she went to take her final step before knocking at the door, she disappeared entirely. All that remained was a pair of flat shoes, standing at the door of the boss’s office, waiting to be stepped on.


As always, I’d love to see what today’s word inspires you to write. Post your work in the comments. And if you feel like you don’t have a clue what’s going on here, check out the introductory post on the home page then come back and join in the fun.


v. 1 give up entirely 2 to desert

n. lack of restraint

He gave himself up to grief with total abandon as he watched his red balloon disappear behind the clouds. He wailed. He kicked his feet and clenched his fists, thinking perhaps he could will the balloon to return. But it was no good. His balloon had abandoned him and it wasn’t coming back.


And on that discouraging note, I hand things over to you. Post your own creative work based on today’s word in the comments. If you’re new here, welcome! Check out the intro post on the home page to see what this Dictionary Dare thing is all about.


Abalone: n. sea mollusk



I ask you,

If into the alphabet they reach

And decide any old combo will do

This one, and that one,and the other one too

(But only when it’s what they say)

All fine and dandy

(So long as we do it their way)

All work equally well

(If we let them be the guide)

All nice and handy

(So long as they decide)

How can I learn to spell?


As always, please feel free to join me in the Dictionary Dare. If you’re up for it, simply post your own creative writing based on today’s word in the comments.


Abacus: n. frame with beads for doing arithmetic

A long time ago, under the cherry tree, a little girl named Hwei-ru went to her cousin and said, “Changpu, I bet I can count higher than you. Can you count to five?”

“Of course I can!”

Changpu held out his left hand and counted his fingers. He smiled a smug little smile.

“That is good. But can you count to ten?”

Changpu held out both hands and counted all his fingers. Then he placed his hands on his hips and grinned.

“Yes, I can see you’ve got this counting down pat. But let’s make it more difficult. Can you count to twenty?”

Changpu scratched his head for a moment. Then he pulled off his shoes and held out his hands. He counted all of his fingers and all of his toes. “Ha! Beat that! I’m sure you can’t count any higher,” he said.

“Will you give me your cookie if I do?”

Changpu was confident she couldn’t count any higher than he had, since she also had only twenty fingers and toes, so he bowed in agreement.

Hwei-ru ran behind the cherry tree and pulled out an abacus. As her fingers flew across the beads, Changpu’s mouth dropped open.

“One million!” She sang out. Changpu reached into his pocket and handed over his cookie.


Aback: adv. used only in taken aback, surprised

My first thought on this prompt was, Donald Trump is running for president, and he has supporters.

But if I wrote about that, this entry would be more of a rant than a creative writing exercise, so I reached again, a little deeper.

Everything on Maya’s face was open. Her mouth. Her eyes. Her ears. Her hands weren’t on her face, but they had joined in for good measure. All open. All expectant. She was so taken aback by what she was seeing she had been forced to enlist her other senses as well. Now it was time to put them to use. With her ears she heard tinkling. With her hands she felt smoothness. With her tongue she tasted sweetness. All her senses confirmed what her sight first showed her. She was standing in front of a tree made of candy bells, right in her own front yard.

Please post your own creative interpretation of the word “aback” in the comments. I look forward to exploring your imagination! If you haven’t yet, hop over and read the initial post explaining the concept of the Dictionary Dare on the home page.