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Nov 26, 2013
This week's theme
Words that arose from cartoons

This week's words
curate's egg
gerrymander
McCarthyism
Rube Goldberg
blimp

gerrymander
The original gerrymander
Cartoonist: Unknown

Modern gerrymandering
See these fascinating examples
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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: 1. An instance of gerrymandering. 2. One or more electoral districts, widely differing in size or population, created as a result 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:
"Country members such as Katter enjoyed disproportionate influence thanks to the Queensland gerrymander that effectively made a rural vote worth more than a city vote."
Tony Wright; Put Down That Blunderbuss; The Age (Melbourne, Australia); Aug 28, 2010.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Life is like a ten-speed bike. Most of us have gears we never use. -Charles Schulz, cartoonist (1922-2000)

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