Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


A.Word.A.Day

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  


Home

Today's Word

Yesterday's Word

Archives

FAQ



Nov 27, 2013
This week's theme
Words that arose from cartoons

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

McCarthyism cartoon
Cartoon: Herbert Block

Bookmark and Share Facebook Twitter Digg MySpace Bookmark and Share
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

McCarthyism

PRONUNCIATION:
(muh-KAHR-thee-iz-uhm)

MEANING:
noun: The practice of making unfounded accusations against someone.

ETYMOLOGY:
After US senator Joseph McCarthy (1909-1957) known for making unsubstantiated claims accusing people of being Communists, spies, and disloyal. Earliest documented use: in 1950 in a cartoon by Herbert Block.

USAGE:
"This is the greatest case of rampant McCarthyism to ever hit organized sports. ... There was no hard evidence that three other first-timers on the ballot used steroids, but that didn't keep the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) voters from denying them entry to the Hall."
Bob Keisser; Extreme Thinking Common for Hall Voters; Daily News (Los Angeles, California); Jan 10, 2013.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
I have learnt silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strange, I am ungrateful to these teachers. -Kahlil Gibran, poet, and artist (1883-1931)

A.Word.A.Day by email:

Subscribe

"The most welcomed, most enduring piece of daily mass e-mail in cyberspace."

The New York Times

Sponsored by:

Give the Gift of Words

Share the magic of words. Send a gift subscription of A.Word.A.Day.

Anu on Words:
Writer Magazine
Globe & Mail

Interact:

Bulletin board
Wordsmith Talk

Moderated Chat
Wordsmith Chat

Readers' Voice
AWADmail

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 2014 Wordsmith