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It’s Weird Word Wednesday! Today’s strange word comes courtesy of our second president, John Adams, who served from 1797 – 1801. I’m reading John Adams: Party of One by James Grant, a great book about our slightly hypochondriacal, fastidious second leader.

In the book, Grant is discussing a legal case that Adams wrangled with in the late 1760s in Boston. On page 77, Adams is lamenting his misfortune with the court, the officers of the Crown, the cause, and “even with the tyrannical Bell that dongled me out of my House every Morning.”

Dongled! In today’s world, dictionary.com defines dongle as “a hardware device attached to a computer without which a particular software program will not run.”

Certainly our sometimes curmudgeonly second leader wouldn’t recognize his dongling bell as having anything to do with a computer – I’m sure he could have benefited by having a computer to help with his complex legal cases, but alas, all he got was a “tyrannical Bell.” Poor guy!