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Feb 17, 2017
This week’s theme
American eponyms

This week’s words
bork
John Hancock
Benedict Arnold
McCarthyism
gerrymander

gerrymander
The original gerrymander
Cartoonist: Unknown

Modern gerrymandering
America’s most gerrymandered districts

This week’s comments
AWADmail 764

Next week’s theme
Origin unknown
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

gerrymander

PRONUNCIATION:
(JER-i-MAN-duhr)

MEANING:
verb tr: To repartition an area in order to create electoral districts that give an unfair advantage to a political party.
noun: An instance of gerrymandering.

ETYMOLOGY:
A blend of Elbridge Gerry and salamander. Massachusetts Governor Gerry’s party rearranged the electoral district boundaries and someone fancied the newly redistricted Essex County resembled a salamander. A cartoon showing the district in the shape of a salamander appeared in March 1812 issue of the Federalist newspaper. Earliest documented use: 1812.

USAGE:
“The Italian people treated [Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s] attempt to gerrymander the political system with the respect it deserved -- forcing Renzi’s resignation.”
Ross Clark; Italy’s Referendum Is Proof that Anti-EU Sentiment Is Not Confined to the UK; Express (London, UK); Dec 6, 2016.

See more usage examples of gerrymander in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute. -Thurgood Marshall, US Supreme Court Justice (1908-1993)

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