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'shwhack

noun; blending and clipping
a hard-to-get-through thick mass branches that requires a lot of striking and hitting to be able to pass. I first heard this word at the beginning of this past summer when I went to Alaska for a backpacking trip. We used it to describe the plants and bushes that we had to plunge ourselves through in order to get to our camping spot. It was not a fun task and required a lot of energy to push ourselves through. At the other end, people came out with scratches and sometimes the branches drew a little blood. I am positive that we were not the first group in the NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) that used this slang terminology, as it has been around for 40 years. However, my backpacking expedition was the first time that I had come into contact with it. I learned that although it does not necessarily describe the easiest route, it does describe an obstacle that we would encounter if we took the shortest, most direct route.
 
Do y’all want to go up the 2,000-foot mountain or through the thick ‘shwhack?
Etymology : (bu)sh + whack ‘to strike’
Source : National Outdoor Leadership School instructor
Last modified: 10 June 2008


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