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Mar 2, 2016
This week’s theme
Well-traveled words

This week’s words
personalty
truchman
popinjay
arsenious
brio

popinjay
Photo: Sarah G./Wikimedia

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

popinjay

PRONUNCIATION:
(POP-in-jay)

MEANING:
noun: Someone who indulges in vain and empty chatter.

ETYMOLOGY:
Via French and Spanish from Arabic babbaga (parrot). The last syllable changed to jay because some thought the word referred to that bird instead of a parrot. Earliest documented use: 1322.

USAGE:
“If the polls are to be believed, an intellectually unserious popinjay born on third base tops the field of candidates for the Republican nomination for president.”
Tony Norman; Trump’s Delusions Will Catch up to Him; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pennsylvania); Jul 21, 2015.

See more usage examples of popinjay in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
One does not advance the swimming abilities of ducks by throwing the eggs in the water. -Multatuli (pen name of Eduard Douwes Dekker), novelist (2 Mar 1820-1887)

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