Saturday, April 04, 2009

What does "succor" mean?

Wow, it's been a year and a half since I last updated my religion blog. Life has been very busy, and I've been working on other online pursuits including the Introduction to Mormonism podcast, my other podcasts, and social networking.

I'm finally updating this blog again because I've been watching the General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a semiannual conference in which the prophet[?], apostles, and other Church leaders speak to the whole world. One of the words that was used repeatedly during the Saturday morning session (particularly in President Henry B. Eyring's talk) was succor. I don't think I've ever heard this word used outside of a Church setting, so I felt it might be useful to explain what the word means.

Oxford American Dictionaries defines succor as "assistance and support in times of hardship and distress" or as a verb, to "give assistance or aid to."

The word succor should not be confused with the word sucker which is pronounced the same way and has a rather opposite meaning. As a noun, a sucker can be defined among other things as "a gullible or easily deceived person," or as a verb, to "fool or trick (someone)" (ibid.). The word sucker is almost never used in an LDS context so as to avoid confusion with the scriptural and oft-used word succor.