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Apr 26, 2011
This week's theme
Words related to clothing

This week's words
flathat
turncoat
shirty
pantywaist
bootstrap

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

turncoat

PRONUNCIATION:
(TUHRN-koht)

MEANING:
noun: Someone who changes allegiance and joins the opposite side.

ETYMOLOGY:
The color, and especially the color of clothing, has long symbolized association with a particular cause. For example, soldiers in an army or players in a sports team don a designated color. The idea behind the word turncoat is someone switching allegiances and turning his coat inside out to hide his earlier colors. Earliest documented use: 1567.

USAGE:
"You could almost imagine the little turncoats from the last poster creeping off and taking up residence in another series of photographs downstairs."
Julius Purcell; Faces That Cannot be Argued Away; Financial Times (London, UK); Jul 18, 2006.

See more usage examples of turncoat in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments, which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty. -George Washington, 1st US president, general (1732-1799)

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