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Feb 2, 2021
This week’s theme
Eponyms

This week’s words
faustian
turveydropian
gallionic
dunce
vandalize

Turveydropian
Matthew Kelly as Mr. Turveydrop in a BBC production of Bleak House
Photo: BBC

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Turveydropian

PRONUNCIATION:
(tuhr-vee-DROH-pee-uhn)

MEANING:
adjective: Overly concerned with one’s appearance, demeanor, etc.

ETYMOLOGY:
After Mr. Turveydrop, a character overly concerned with deportment, in Charles Dickens’s Bleak House, 1852. Earliest documented use: 1876.

NOTES:
Mr. Turveydrop is a dance studio owner. He’s a conceited humbug, consumed with his deportment. As Dickens describes him:
He was a fat old gentleman with a false complexion, false teeth, false whiskers, and a wig. He had a fur collar.

Turveydrop laments:
England -- alas, my country! -- has degenerated very much, and is degenerating every day. She has not many gentlemen left.

He has named his son Prince (after prince regent) and says this about him:
Heaven forbid that I should disparage my dear child, but he has -- no deportment.

USAGE:
“The drawing-room door is flung wide open, and Dorking, the butler, entering with Turveydropian deportment, announces, ‘Mr. Saville.’”
Cecil Dunstan; Quita: A Novel; Ward and Downey; 1891.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The absence of flaw in beauty is itself a flaw. -Havelock Ellis, physician, writer, and social reformer (2 Feb 1859-1939)

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