Simanaitis Says

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Tag Archives: “The Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary”

ETYMOLOGY—DESPICABLE

HOLDING INNOCENT children hostage in return for building a wall is despicable. And thus, the word “despicable” earns a place in the SimanaitisSays series Etymology for our Times. Merriam-Webster defines … Continue reading

July 2, 2018 · 1 Comment

ETYMOLOGY: DEVIL, DIABOLICAL

DEVIL AND DIABOLICAL are perfect additions to the SimanaitisSays series of Etymology for our Times, what with the Trump administration’s Wall hostage program of children. The words’ origins trace to … Continue reading

June 20, 2018 · 1 Comment

DUPED, DUPLICITY

WELL I’LL BE duped! It turns out I’ve deceived myself for years by associating the word “dupe” with the word “duplicity.” However, in expanding my Etymology for our Times, I … Continue reading

June 13, 2018 · 1 Comment

ETYMOLOGY: HOIST ON ONE’S OWN PETARD

THERE APPEARS to be no shortage of Etymology for our Times words and phrases: To name a few, there are buffoon, charlatan, mendacity—and today’s “hoist on one’s own petard.” What … Continue reading

April 18, 2018 · Leave a comment

ETYMOLOGY: CRONY, CRONYISM

MERRIAM-WEBSTER nails cronyism as “partiality to cronies especially as evidenced in the appointment of political hangers-on to office without regard to their qualifications.” Furthermore, M-W defines a crony as “a … Continue reading

April 2, 2018 · 1 Comment

ETYMOLOGY: BELLWETHER

IT SEEMS immodest to quote one’s own comment, but I believe I may have originated “Satire is the bellwether of the body politic.” (Googled, this truism cites SimanaitisSays as its … Continue reading

February 4, 2018 · 1 Comment

ETYMOLOGY: TRUMPERY

TODAY’S ADDITION to my series of Etymology for our Times almost wrote itself. For the word “trumpery,” I consulted my usual Merriam-Webster, The Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, … Continue reading

January 31, 2018 · Leave a comment

TOADY, pl. TOADIES (THERE’S NO LACK OF THEM)

I FIND it odd that the word “toady” dates from not quite 200 years ago. One would have thought such “flatterers in hope of gaining favors” had been around long … Continue reading

January 5, 2018 · 1 Comment

SYCOPHANTS? NAILED ‘EM, ONE AND ALL!

THERE HAVE been people called sycophants since 1575. But why are we so plagued with so many of them today? For just two examples, see Trump cabinet lovefest, June 12, … Continue reading

December 23, 2017 · 2 Comments

ON BEING BAMBOOZLED

WHAT A funny word “bamboozle” is. At first glance, it reminds me of that rude noisemaker blown at World Cup matches. (No, that’s the vuvuzela. On the other hand, if … Continue reading

December 3, 2017 · Leave a comment