dearth [dɜrθ] n.
1.) Scarcity which renders dear; want; lack; specifically, lack of food on account of failure of crops; famine (GNU Collaborative International Dictionary of English).
Etymology: Middle English derthe, from Old English deorthu, costliness, from deore, costly.
"As among the different provinces of a great empire, the freedom of the inland trade appears, both from reason and experience, not only the best palliative of a dearth, but the most effectual preventive of a famine; so would the freedom of the exportation and importation trade be among the different states into which a great continent was divided" (An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith, 1776).
Today's word in "honor" of the fact that my bike was stolen last Thursday night. I had lost my lock, so I just sort of draped another lock over the front wheel and left the bike at Uni overnight, hoping it would fool the thieves. Didn't work. Anyone in London have a bike I could buy on the cheap?