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Nov 28, 2013
This week's theme
Words that arose from cartoons

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

Rube Goldberg
Self-Operating Napkin
Art: Rube Goldberg

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Rube Goldberg

PRONUNCIATION:
(roob GOLD-buhrg)

MEANING:
adjective: Absurdly complex or impractical.

ETYMOLOGY:
After cartoonist Rube Goldberg (1883-1970) who was known for his intricate drawings showing fantastically impractical contraptions to accomplish simple jobs. Earliest documented use: 1928.

NOTES:
Inspired? Take part in the Rube Goldberg contest.
The British equivalent of the term is Heath Robinson.

USAGE:
"A Rube Goldberg solution to a simple problem, Sea Swap has proved too unstable for long-term practice."
Matthew Hipple; Sea Swap: It's a Trap; United States Naval Institute Proceedings; Jul 2013.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings. -William Blake, poet, engraver, and painter (1757-1827)

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