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Jun 28, 2006
This week's theme
Words related to shoes

This week's words
calced
slipshod
gumshoe
cordwainer
goody_two-shoes
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

gumshoe

Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

gumshoe (GUM-shoo) noun

1. A detective.

2. A rubber overshoe.

[The word is an allusion to the quiet snooping that a detective is supposed to do. Wearing rubber shoes, one can move around without making much noise.]

The word is an example of the figure of speech called metonymy in which a part is used for the whole or vice versa. Another example is the use of the word crown to refer to a king.

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

"So far, the entertainment industry's approach to peer-to-peer file sharing has been to hire gumshoes to bang on teenagers' doors at midnight and haul them off to court -- an act akin to trying to beat back a tsunami with a tennis racquet."
Staunching a Tide of Piracy; Sydney Morning Herald (Australia); May 18, 2006.

X-Bonus

For God's sake don't say yes until I've finished talking. -Darryl F. Zanuck, movie producer, director, and actor (1902-1979)

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