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Aug 20, 2019
This week’s theme
People who have become verbs

This week’s words
pythagorize
malaprop
nestorize
dewitt
aladdinize

malaprop
Mrs. Malaprop tells Captain Jack Absolute she cannot comprehend why someone is saying such awful things about her vocabulary (Huntington Theatre Company’s production of The Rivals)

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

malaprop

PRONUNCIATION:
(MAL-uh-prop)

MEANING:
verb intr.: To misuse a word by confusing it with a similar-sounding word, producing a humorous effect. For example, “pineapple of perfection” for “pinnacle of perfection” (from the play The Rivals).

ETYMOLOGY:
After Mrs. Malaprop, a character in Richard Sheridan’s play, The Rivals (1775), who confused words in this manner. The name Malaprop is coined from French “mal à propos” (inappropriate). Earliest documented use: 1959.

USAGE:
“Why not throw caution to the birds, as he had malaproped, and make the call?”
Arnold Grossman; Going Together; Fulcrum Publishing; 2007.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day; I'd rather one should walk with me than merely tell the way. -Edgar Guest, poet (20 Aug 1881-1959)

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