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Sep 3, 2009
This week's theme
Animal terms

This week's words
bird-dog
wildcatter
frogmarch
mawkish
shrew

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with Anu Garg

mawkish

PRONUNCIATION:
(MAW-kish)

MEANING:
adjective:
1. Excessively sentimental, especially in a false or childish manner.
2. Having a nauseating taste or smell.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Middle English mawke (maggot). Are maggots sentimental? We don't know, but the secondary sense of the word mawkish derives from the disgust we feel at the sight of the insect. By extension the word began to refer to something sickeningly sentimental.

USAGE:
"Diana's passing prompted a months-long orgy of mawkish and histrionic media coverage centering on the accomplishments of a woman best known for her romantic troubles and fashion prowess."
Colleen Carroll Campbell; Michael Jackson Fatigue Syndrome; St. Louis Post-Dispatch; Jul 9, 2009.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too? -Douglas Adams, writer, dramatist, and musician (1952-2001)

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