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When a member of the royalty gives up his or her job he or she is said to have abdicated. You might also hear this described as surrendering the throne or surrendering the crown. There is a good reason for the use of these latter terms. On the rare occasions when kings and queens quit they usually give up their right to the royal thrones and crowns. Royals who abdicate typically must leave those objects behind for their successors.

I’m not sure if they are allowed to cart off any of the other furniture and headgear, but the throne and crown must definitely stay. I’d imagine that this rule is rarely broken because it would be difficult to sneak a crown, and particularly a throne, out of the castle under your jacket when you leave. Nevertheless, if it were up to me, I’d definitely take an inventory of the royal jewels after they depart. I’m just saying.

Commoners can also abdicate things, but that’s usually restricted to responsibilities. This is probably the only definition that will apply directly to most of the readers of this because I doubt that any more than 30 percent—40 percent, tops—of my audience are senior royalty, even if you include dukes, duchesses, princes, princesses, princelings and princesslings. (Note to self: I told you once already, back in the abandon entry, don’t start coining new words lest you feel the need to comment on them.)

As an example of the meaning of abdicate as it applies to commoners, a man might say, “I abdicate my responsibility for the child that resulted from my deviously seducing you through the use of deception and false promises after your initial adamant refusal to have sex with me.” And the woman might respond, “you’re an effing bastard who should rot in hell, but only after suffering from a long and excruciatingly painful disease that slowly rots your innards,” or words to that effect

To my mind, in most cases, the woman would be justified in saying that under those circumstances. Then again, I might feel that way despite being a man only because I’m childless, so I don’t have any “skin in the game,” as they say. That having been said, I would very much like to have some skin in the game but I have no seduction skills and women usually say no. Sigh.

Sorry, about that. My mind wandered. Where was I going with this? Oh yeah, abdicating is not always the right thing to do even though it relieves you of some responsibilities. Point made.

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