PRONUNCIATION: ((fil-uh-DEL-fee-uh LOI-yuhr)

MEANING: noun: A shrewd lawyer, one who is adept at exploiting legal technicalities.

ETYMOLOGY: The term is said to have been inspired by Philadelphia-based Andrew Hamilton's successful defense of the New York printer John Peter Zenger from libel charges. This decision helped establish the idea that truth is a defense in a libel accusation and affirmed the freedom of the press in America. Though the incident took place in 1735, the earliest documented use unearthed so far is from 1788.

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THOUGHT FOR TODAY: No amount of belief makes something a fact.
- James Randi, magician and skeptic (b. 1928)


PHILASELPHIA LAWYER - an egotistical attorney