Two Words: Sequestration & Bupkis

Sequestration Capitol

Sequestration is a word that has come into everyday use because it describes everything from Congressional actions to many other actions like climate change.  I am not sure we have seen a word with this many interpretations in a long time.  I also believe it has become a word that people throw into a conversation when they want to look intelligent, and it has become overused.

According to Webster’s, there are several applications for the word.  To sequester something like a sequestered jury means holding something legally.

Sequestration can also mean imposing automatic government spending cuts by withholding appropriations by a fixed percentage that applies uniformly to all government programs except for essential services and the military.

And then, because the term became popular, it moved over into the world of climate change.  In that strange world, we now have carbon sequestration, soil sequestration, vegetation sequestration, and ocean sequestration.  Not to be outdone, we also have terms like Terrestrial Gross Carbon Sequestration to explain the cumulative effect of carbon capture by a forest or just masses of vegetation.

Separator Black Fancy

Bupkis is also a real word that means nothing.  Not that the word means nothing, but it means “nothing.”  It can also be used in the context of nonsense.

“You know bupkis about nuclear physics.”

“Since most biochemical weapons are absorbed through the skin, a gas mask does bupkis to prevent your exposure in the long run.”

“The speech you gave on the lifespan of street signs was total bupkis.”

Bupkis can also be spelled “bupkes” and is of Yiddish origin.  The word bupkes means beans or very little in Yiddish.

“Charles worked hard on the painting and received bupkes for his efforts.”