A few months ago I signed up for a-word-a-day newsletter (wordsmith.org) to try and increase my vocabulary. (I'm often amazed at how much I don't know. And I can't imagine what kind of conversation I would need to have in order to use most of them... and lord knows who I would be conversing with to be able to slip them out of my mouth as though they belonged there.) It always includes how the word is to be pronounced and a sample sentence. Today's word is/was hardscrabble. (Did someone say scrabble?)
From the newsletter:
hardscrabble (HARD-skrab-uhl) adjective
1. Yielding little for much effort.
2. Relating to a place that provides for bare subsistence.
-Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
"How did young Mildred, a homely, chubby, fatherless kid, reared on
a hardscrabble Iowa farm during the Great Depression manage to work
up the genius to relish every minute of her life?"
Elizabeth Gilbert; The Home Place; The New York Times; Jul 1, 2007.
Well, the example of how to use the word intrigued me so I googled it and came up with the entire book review. You can find it here. I suspect this might be more interesting for older baby-boomers and back, (I'm pre-baby boomer by a couple of years... officially speaking) because we can remember hearing about the times. You know, during our actual life-time.