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A.Word.A.Daywith Anu Garg
The pejorative suffix -aster (meaning something that is inferior, small or shallow) gives us some delightful words when it comes to name-calling. A reviewer brands a poet a poetaster (an inferior poet) and the reviewee might return the favor by calling the former a criticaster (an incompetent critic).
In the same vein, we can have a philosophaster, an astrologaster, and a theologaster. Lest we get carried away here, let's remember that a grandmaster is not an inferior grandma.
This week we'll review five words you can use to put people down.
MEANING:noun: A petty politician.
ETYMOLOGY:From Italian politicastro, from Latin politicus (political), from Greek politikos, from polites (citizen), from polis (city) + Latin -aster (pejorative suffix).
USAGE:"The politicaster is looking for small opportunities -- for such pickings and stealings as a careless public may leave for those of his kind. The great politician is looking for great opportunities."
Samuel McChord Crothers; In Praise of Politicians; The Wall Street Journal (New York); Jan 5, 2004.
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:Corporation: n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility. -Ambrose Bierce, author and editor (1842-1914)
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