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



Aug 8, 2013
This week's theme
Words coined after baddies

This week's words
Ponzi scheme
quisling
burke
Potemkin village
Typhoid Mary

Prince Potemkin
Prince Potemkin
Image: Wikimedia

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

Potemkin village

PRONUNCIATION:
(po-TEM-kin VIL-ij)

MEANING:
noun: An impressive showy facade designed to mask undesirable facts.

ETYMOLOGY:
After Prince Grigory Potemkin, who erected cardboard villages to fool Empress Catherine II during her visit to Ukraine and Crimea in 1787. Earliest documented use: 1904.

USAGE:
"In Berlin, Lindbergh's wife, Anne, was blinded by the glittering façade of a Potemkin village."
Susan Dunn; The Debate Behind U.S. Intervention in World War II; The Atlantic (Boston); Jul 8, 2013.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Most institutions demand unqualified faith; but the institution of science makes skepticism a virtue. -Robert King Merton, sociologist (1910-2003)

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