peculate and amerce

These are two words which I ran across yesterday. I had no idea what peculate meant and, although I had seen amerce before, I couldn’t dredge it up out of my brain. Peculate sounds like something that chickens do and amerce looks like it should be some sort of corporate abbreviation for American Ce… or perhaps the name of a hospital.

peculate – To embezzle (funds) or engage in embezzlement (dictionary.com)

amerce – To punish by a fine imposed arbitrarily at the discretion of the court (dictionary.com)

Who knew?

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