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drawcansir (draw-CAN-suhr) noun

A blustering, bragging bully.

[From the name of a character in the play The Rehearsal (1671) by George Villiers (1628-1687), 2nd Duke of Buckingham. The character was apparently named for his potvaliant tendencies: Draw can (of liquor). The play was a satire on poet John Dryden's inflated tragedies and the character of Drawcansir was modeled as a parody of Almanzor in Dryden's Conquest of Granada. Dryden in turn lampooned Villiers in a passage in his poem Absalom and Achitophel (1681).]

"Drawcansir rakes and Tunbelly Clumseys alike become, to progressive eyes, inadmissible relics of a barbaric past."
Roy Porter; The Culture of Sensibility; Journal of Social History; (Fairfax, Virginia); Jun 1995.

"The arrogant nephew and his two drawcansir uncles appeared ..."
Washington Irving; The Widow's Tale; Defiance Democrat (Ohio); Oct 13, 1855.

Eponyms -- AWAD's perennial favorites -- make their appearance once again. We've had 38 weeks of them over the last 10 years. Eponyms are words derived from people's names. There is a reason for their popularity: where else can you find a whole story in just one word? This week's selection features words named after people famous and infamous, real and fictional, well-known and relatively obscure. We'll see words derived from characters in Greek mythology, French royalty, US law, and English fiction. -Anu Garg


The highest exercise of charity is charity towards the uncharitable. -J.S. Buckminster, clergyman and editor (1784-1812)

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