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Jul 23, 2020
This week’s theme
Words coined after fairy-tale characters

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

Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty, 1821 (detail)

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

sleeping beauty

PRONUNCIATION:
(SLEE-ping BYOO-tee)

MEANING:
noun: Someone or something that lies dormant for a long time.

ETYMOLOGY:
After the princess of a fairy tale who is cursed by a wicked fairy. The princess pricks her finger on a spindle and sleeps for 100 years until awakened by the kiss of a prince. Earliest documented use: 1729.

NOTES:
In finance, a sleeping beauty is an asset, for example, a startup, that is an attractive target for takeover, but that has not yet been approached by someone. Also see Rip Van Winkle.

USAGE:
“Eighty fatalities and 1,000 wounded citizens later, a pall had descended on Prague, which would now be a sleeping beauty for more than two decades.”
Amotz Asa-El; The Prague Spring at 50; Jerusalem Post (Israel); Aug 24, 2018.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
At least half the mystery novels published violate the law that the solution, once revealed, must seem to be inevitable. -Raymond Thornton Chandler, writer (23 Jul 1888-1959)

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