In this case, I will have to take issue with Webster, learned though he may be.

Many English speakers tend to pronounce the word "sake" with a long "e" sound: "sah-kee." This is an understandable mistake, though it is still a mistake. Japanese rice wine, "sake," is properly pronounced "SAH-keh," with a short "e" at the end, and spelled similarly.

"Saki" is indeed a Japanese word, and means "ahead" or "before" (among other things,) but do not make the mistake of saying that you enjoy dreaking "saki"; you won't be understood.

Contrary to popular opinion, Saki is actually an author.
He wrote many short stories, a few novels, and a play or two, and they are all extremely funny.

Saki's stories are all (loosely) about the cracks in society, and are extremely sarcastic and piercing. His first stories were about Reginald, and later he introduced a new character, Clovis, but towards the end of his career and the coming of war he moved on to random stories about politics.

Saki, for me, has many wonders. One is his inimitable writing style; his ability to write in widely differing genres, from high comedy, such as in 'The Brogue', to suspense, as in 'The Mouse', and to tragic drama, like 'The Easter Egg' and 'The Wolves of Cernogratz'.
Another is his ability to create a dramatic opening and climactic ending in the short space available to the short story writer: his stories fire the imagination, and they entertain as well. They bring us to the brink and back with a smile on our faces.

If this small taster of Saki's brilliant books has fired you up, you can probably buy a collection of his short stories for a reasonable price. I have on the bookshelf next to me his complete short stories purchased for the princely sum of £1.
Be warned though: once you start reading, you will not be able to stop until your heart is empty.

British writer (1870-1916). Real name: Hector Hugh Munro. He was born in British India -- his father was an Inspector General for the Indian Imperial Police. Just two years after he was born, his mother, on a home visit to England, was charged by a cow. The shock caused her to miscarry, and she died soon afterwards. His father shipped him and his two older siblings back to England, where they were cared for by their grandmother and two maiden aunts, all three horrible people who were overly strict and religious. Hector used his aunts as models for characters for years afterwards. 

Hector eventually followed his father into the Indian Imperial Police in Burma, but he returned home after just 15 months due to illness. He then decided to move to London to be a writer. He got his start writing for newspapers and magazines and published his first book, a nonfiction work titled "The Rise of the Russian Empire." He turned to fiction soon after that, and soon began using the pseudonym "Saki" -- a reference to the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam. He continued his work as a reporter and foreign correspondent, traveling to the Balkans, Russia, and Paris. He finally returned to London in 1908, hoping to live the life of a gentleman at leisure, as well as continuing to write fiction. 

His short stories are considered some of the best and most clever ones out there. They were generally satires of the culture of Edwardian society. They were often fairly macabre, as well. Some of his most famous include "Gabriel-Ernest," "The Open Window," "Laura," "Mrs. Packletide's Tiger," "Sredni Vashtar," "The Storyteller," "The Lumber Room," "The Wolves of Cernogratz," "The Guests," "The Penance," "The Interlopers," and "The Mappined Life."

He was homosexual at a time when it was illegal to be homosexual. Oscar Wilde had already gone to prison for being gay, so Munro had to keep his sexual preferences a secret. 

At the beginning of World War I, he joined the army as a common trooper and was eventually promoted to lance sergeant. He was known for returning to the battlefield when officially too sick or injured to be on the field. He died in November 1916 when he was shot by a sniper near the Battle of the Ancre. It was said that his last words were "Put that bloody cigarette out!" He has no known gravesite.

Sa"ki (?), n. [Cf. F. & Pg. saki; probably from the native name.] Zool.

Any one of several species of South American monkeys of the genus Pithecia. They have large ears, and a long hairy tail which is not prehensile.

⇒ The black saki (Pithecia satanas), the white-headed (P.leucocephala), and the red-backed, or hand-drinking, saki (P.chiropotes), are among the best-known.


© Webster 1913.

Sa"ki (?), n.

The alcoholic drink of Japan. It is made from rice.

<-- usu. spelt sake -->


© Webster 1913.

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