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Feb 18, 2009
This week's theme
Whose what?

This week's words
fool's gold
sword of Damocles
mug's game
dog's age
God's acre

Today's word in
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Face mugs
Face mugs
(Photo: Edward Klimek)

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mug's game

PRONUNCIATION:
(mugz gaym)

MEANING:
noun: A foolish or futile activity.

ETYMOLOGY:
From mug (slang for a fool), from Scandinavian word mugg/mugge (drinking cup). In earlier times drinking cups were adorned with grotesque faces, which resulted in the various senses of the word, nouns (face, dupe, thug) and verbs (to assault, to make faces, to photograph).

USAGE:
"'Because we're dealing with so many unknowns, forecasting is an absolute mug's game at present,' says Westpac chief economist Brendan O'Donovan."
Nikki MacDonald; 2009 - What Lies Ahead?; The Dominion Post (Wellington, New Zealand); Jan 22, 2009.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
I died as a mineral and became a plant, I died as plant and rose to animal, I died as animal and I was Man. Why should I fear? When was I less by dying? -Jalaluddin Rumi, poet and mystic (1207-1273)

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