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Feb 3, 2012
This week's theme
Dickensian characters that became words

This week's words
wellerism
fagin
gamp
scrooge
gradgrind

Thomas Gradgrind catching his children at the circus
Thomas Gradgrind catching his children at the circus
Wood engraving: Harry French, 1870s

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Words to describe people
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

gradgrind

PRONUNCIATION:
(GRAD-grynd)

MEANING:
noun: Someone who is solely interested in cold, hard facts.

ETYMOLOGY:
After Thomas Gradgrind, the utilitarian mill-owner in Charles Dickens's novel Hard Times. Gradgrind runs a school with the idea that hard facts and rules are more important than love, emotions, and feelings. Earliest documented use: 1855.

USAGE:
"In truth, Colleen McCullough is very much a Gradgrind when it comes to facts: They are all that is needful, presented, it must be said, without color or animation to detract from their merit."
Katherine A. Powers; Ancient Evenings; The Washington Post; Dec 15, 2002.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Few things are more satisfying than seeing your children have teenagers of their own. -Doug Larson, columnist (b. 1926)

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