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Oct 10, 2019
This week’s theme
Pessimists and optimists from fiction who became words

This week’s words
Gummidge
Tigger
Debbie Downer
Tapleyism
Eeyore

tapleyism
“Well, there’d be some credit in being jolly with an inflammation of the lungs.”
Image: eBay

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Tapleyism

PRONUNCIATION:
(TAP-lee-i-zuhm)

MEANING:
noun: Extreme optimism, even under most hopeless circumstances.

ETYMOLOGY:
After Mark Tapley, a character in Charles Dickens’s Martin Chuzzlewit (1843-44). Earliest documented use: 1857.

NOTES:
The mission of Mark Tapley is to remain “jolly” under all circumstances. It is tested when he accompanies his boss Martin Chuzzlewit on a trip to America and comes down with malaria while living in a swamp. When asked how he’s doing, he responds: “Floored for the present, sir, but jolly!” Other examples of words coined after characters from the same book are pecksniffian and gamp.

USAGE:
“I have a good share of Tapleyism in me and come out strong under difficulties.”
William James; Memories and Studies; Longmans, Green, and Co.; 1911.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
When small men begin to cast big shadows, it means that the sun is about to set. -Lin Yutang, writer and translator (10 Oct 1895-1976)

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