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A.Word.A.Day--gnathonic

Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

gnathonic (na-THON-ik) adjective

Sycophantic; fawning.

[From Latin gnathonicus, derivative of Gnathon- (stem of Gnatho) name of a sycophantic character in the Roman comedy Eunuchus by Terence.]

"And that's why today any myrmidon, any gnathonic sycophant, any obsequious assistant or menial hanger-on is called a toadeater or, more often, a toady."
Michael Gartner, Words, Newsday, Dec 27, 1987.

This week's theme: Fictional characters who live on in the dictionary

X-Bonus

A man there was, tho' some did count him mad / The more he cast away, the more he had. -John Bunyan, preacher (1628-1688) [Pilgrim's Progress]

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