Words of the Day: Succor and Sucker

suc-cor / sŭk-ər
1. aid, assistance, relief
You find in friendship the surety of good counsel, the emulation of good example, sympathy in our griefs, succor in our distress. 
Anne-Therese de Marguenat de Courcelles, 1647 – 1733
2. someone or something that provides help, assistance or relief
There is beauty in art, in literature, in science, and in every triumph of intelligence, all of which I covet for my country; but there is a higher beauty still—in relieving the poor, in elevating the downtrodden, and being a succor to the oppressed. 
Charles Sumner, 1811 – 1874
1. to provide assistance in times of need
My men are already gone, with the Red-Cross corps, to succor whom they can.
From “Aunt Jane’s Nieces Abroad” by Edith Van Dyne, pen name for L. Frank Baum, 1856 – 1919
Succor, as both noun and verb, ultimately comes from the Latin verb succurro, succurrere, succurri, succursum (run up under, run to help, aid, assist), a combination of the prepositional prefix sub- (under) and the verb curro, currere, cucurri, cursum (run).
Thank you to Allen Ward for providing the etymologies for succor and sucker.
suck-er / sŭk-ər
1.  a person or thing that uses suction
One of the great pressures we’re facing in journalism now is it’s a lot cheaper to hire thumb suckers and pundits and have talk shows on the air than actually have bureaus and reporters.
Walter Isaacson, 1952 –
2. a body part or structure used to suck in order to get nutrition or to cling to something
Octopuses have hundreds of suckers, each one equipped with its own ganglion with thousands of neurons. 
Frans de Waal, 1948 –
3. one who is easily tricked or deceived
When you’re at the dealing table, always look for the sucker— and make sure it isn’t you. 
Egyptian Proverb
4. one who is drawn to or attracted by a particular type of thing
I’ve always been a sucker for attention. 
Cuba Gooding Jr., 1968-
5. a lollipop
Never jump into a pile of leaves with a wet sucker.
Charles M. Schulz, 1922 – 2000
6. a secondary shoot that grows from the root or base of a plant
Remove all suckers from the roots of trees or shrubs.
From “A Treatise on Domestic Economy” by Catharine Esther Beecher, 1800 – 1878 
7. (slang) a general term of reference for something unspecified, often used as an intensive
…the goal of all spiritual life is to get your ego out of the way – outwit the sucker; dissolve it; shoot it; kill it. 
Lawrence Kushner, 1943 –
8. (slang) a general term of reference for a person, often used as an intensive
Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death.
Rosalind Russell, 1907 – 1976
9. a freshwater fish in the Catostomidae family, primarily found in North America, which has a thick lips and feeds by sucking
“I don’t know, Benjamin,” returned the sheriff; “a haul of one thousand Otsego bass, without counting pike, pickerel, perch, bull- pouts, salmon-trouts, and suckers, is no bad fishing, let me tell you. 
From “The Pioneers” by James Fenimore Cooper, 1789 – 1851
1. to remove the secondary shoots from a plant
To sucker a tomato refers to the removal of a vegetative sprout between the main stem and a leaf of the tomato. 
Michael Hastings, “Extension: ‘Suckering’ tomatoes can produce larger fruit” ‘Winston-Salem Journal’, www. journalnow.com/lifestyles/home-garden/extension-suckering-tomatoes-can-produce-larger-fruit/article_3e88826f-a8de-5427-b4cc-9ed2cd0d0e52.html, May 28, 2020
2. to grow secondary shoots
Shrubs that are prone to suckering include lilac, black chokeberry, gray dogwood, silky dogwood, deutzia, diervilla, all kinds of raspberries, elderberry, snowberry, nannyberry viburnum and, especially, all species of sumac.
Beth Botts, “Taming the shrubs that want to keep growing”, ‘Chicago Tribune’, www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/ct-sun-0628-garden-morton-20150622-story.html, June 22, 2015
3. (informal) to deceive someone
We’ve been suckered into buying and buying and upgrading and upgrading. 
Martin Freeman, 1971 –
Suck, from the Anglo-Saxon verb sukan (suck) through the Middle English verb suken of the same meaning.