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Jan 31, 2012
This week's theme
Dickensian characters that became words

This week's words
wellerism
fagin
gamp
scrooge
gradgrind

Fagin, Artful Dodger, Oliver
Standing: Fagin, Artful Dodger, Oliver
Illustration: George Cruikshank (1792-1878)

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

fagin

PRONUNCIATION:
(FAY-gin)

MEANING:
noun: One who trains others, especially children, in crime.

ETYMOLOGY:
After Fagin, the leader of a gang of pickpockets, in Charles Dickens's novel Oliver Twist. Oliver runs away from the cruelty of the undertaker to whom he was apprenticed and ends up in Fagin's gang where he joins other orphans to learn the art of stealing. Earliest documented use: 1847.

USAGE:
"A fagin crook led a gang of young thieves stealing valuable bikes to order across Tyneside."
Garry Willey; Fagin's Gang Busted; The Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, UK) Apr 4, 2011.

Explore "fagin" in the Visual Thesaurus.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
If you wish to make an apple pie truly from scratch, you must first invent the universe. -Carl Sagan, astronomer and writer (1934-1996)

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