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Jun 30, 2022
This week’s theme
Words originating in the hand

This week’s words
mainpast
openhanded
light-fingered
thumbsucker

thumbsucker
“Treatment Kit to Stop Finger Sucking”
But it lets you write, so you can still crank out a thumbsucker?
Photo: Amazon

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

thumbsucker

PRONUNCIATION:
(THUHM-suhk-uhr)

MEANING:
noun:
1. Someone who likes to suck their thumb.
2. A journalistic piece that deals with the background and interpretation of events instead of hard news.

ETYMOLOGY:
Why thumbsucker for such a piece of writing? It has been explained as something that a journalist writes after sucking their thumb for a while instead of going out there and covering hard news. Another interpretation is that such a piece provides background and interpretation of an event as a way to comfort the reader. It’s also called news analysis or a think piece. Earliest documented use: 1891.

USAGE:
“On the day the twin towers fell, after watching the carnage unfold on TV for most of the morning, I drove into work and, seized with the significance of the moment, composed an epic thumbsucker on How Our World Had Changed.”
Andrew Coyne; This Changes Everything, Unless It Doesn’t; The Globe and Mail (Toronto, Canada); Apr 11, 2020.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
In a room where people unanimously maintain a conspiracy of silence, one word of truth sounds like a pistol shot. -Czeslaw Milosz, poet and novelist (30 Jun 1911-2004)

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