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Watergate (WOH-tuhr-gayt) noun

A scandal involving abuse of office, deceit, and cover-up.

[After Watergate office and residential complex in Washington, DC, the site of a break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in 1972 that resulted in the resignation of President Richard Nixon two years later.]

Watergate, a scandal of mammoth proportions, has given us a useful suffix for describing a wide variety of subsequent scandals, from monicagate to enrongate, to the recent icegate or skategate, and hot off the press, gategate.

"On this (campaign finance reform) bill and other political reforms, Congress should give primacy to the rights and needs of voters. Reform should not have to wait for a tangled election like the one just concluded - or a Watergate." A Step Toward Reform, The Boston Globe, Mar 30, 2001.

This week's theme: words with presidential connections.


Until it is kindled by a spirit as flamingly alive as the one which gave it birth a book is dead to us. Words divested of their magic are but dead hieroglyphs. -Henry Miller, novelist (1891-1980)

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