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tub-thumper (TUB-thum-puhr) noun

A noisy, vigorous promoter or speaker.

[In earlier times, the word tub was jocularly applied to a pulpit. Imagine an impassioned preacher pounding away on his pulpit and you'll have a good idea of how this word came to be applied to any fervent promoter of a cause.]

"According to Kipling the whole of England is a garden, though, inexplicably, it is maintained by men weeding its gravel paths with broken dinner knives. (Maybe the old tub-thumper had been too much at the Empire cream sherry.)" David Blundell; Eden's Gone Awry; The Times (London, UK); Dec 28, 2002.

"Although Ruddock is the principal tub-thumper of this disgusting policy, Con Sciacca, the Opposition spokesman, isn't worth feeding." Phillip Adams; Beware: Bigotry is Back; The Australian (Sydney); Sep 1, 2001.

This week's theme: descriptive words to apply to people.


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