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Jul 21, 2020
This week’s theme
Words coined after fairy-tale characters

This week’s words
Goldilocks
Cinderella
ugly duckling
sleeping beauty
Prince Charming

cinderella
Cinderella: A Perfect Match, 1818

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Cinderella

PRONUNCIATION:
(sin-duh-REL-luh)

MEANING:
noun:
1. One who deserves success or recognition, but instead suffers from neglect or obscurity.
2. One who achieves sudden triumph or recognition, especially after a long period of neglect or obscurity.

ETYMOLOGY:
After Cinderella, the fairy-tale character who is mistreated by her stepmother and stepsisters. With a little help from a fairy godmother, she attends a royal ball thrown by a prince. Ultimately, she marries the prince and lives happily ever after. What’s behind the name Cinderella? It’s a pseudo-translation of the French name of the girl, Cendrillon, from cendre (cinder), perhaps an allusion to her day-to-day existence, tending to the fireplace and hearth, and as a result she has cinders all over her. It may also be a hint to the hidden spark in her otherwise dismal life. Earliest documented use: 1840.

USAGE:
“Perhaps because dentistry is the Cinderella of the public health system, receiving little attention, these problems have been allowed to persist.”
Paul Cullen; Grindingly Slow Progress on Inquiry into Children’s Orthodontic Damage; Irish Times (Dublin); Apr 2, 2019.

“The Badgers are the Cinderella of the Final Four thanks to toppling a national championship winner.”
Ben Steele; Sconnie Final Four Is Set; Green Bay Press Gazette (Wisconsin); Apr 1, 2020.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The man who has begun to live more seriously within begins to live more simply without. -Ernest Hemingway, author, journalist, Nobel laureate (21 Jul 1899-1961)

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