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May 21, 2021
This week’s theme
Eponyms

This week’s words
Hoyle
Houdini
tawdry
McDonaldization
pooh-bah

pooh-bah
An ad for Coats thread, c. 1870-1900

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High-scoring words in Scrabble
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

pooh-bah

PRONUNCIATION:
(POO-bah)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A person who holds a high office or has great influence.
2. A pompous, self-important person.
3. A person holding many offices or positions of power.

ETYMOLOGY:
After Pooh-Bah, a government official in Gilbert & Sullivan’s 1885 operetta The Mikado. Pooh-Bah holds all the high offices of the state (except Lord High Executioner), including relating to complaints about himself. He is also known as the Lord High Everything Else. Earliest documented use: 1886.

USAGE:
“Yeah, yeah. I know every sport has a federation, a long history and a stuffy pooh-bah in charge.”
Allan Maki; Blog Hits; The Globe and Mail (Toronto, Canada); Aug 12, 2008.

See more usage examples of pooh-bapooh-bah in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
In words as fashions the same rule will hold,/ Alike fantastic if too new or old;/ Be not the first by whom the new are tried,/ Nor yet the last to lay the old aside. -Alexander Pope, poet (21 May 1688-1744)

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