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Aug 31, 2018
This week’s theme
Eponyms

This week’s words
scaramouch
Molotov cocktail
roister-doister
braggadocio
dickensian

dickensian
Charles Dickens
From Great Britain and Her Queen, 1897

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Dickensian

PRONUNCIATION:
(di-KEN-zee-uhn)

MEANING:
adjective:
1. Of or relating to Charles Dickens or his works.
2. Relating to social conditions marked by poverty, social injustice, mistreatment of children, etc.

ETYMOLOGY:
After the novelist Charles Dickens (1812-1870), whose works portrayed poor social conditions of Victorian England. Earliest documented use: 1881. Many of Dickens’s characters have become eponyms themselves.

USAGE:
“Newt Gingrich expanded on Dickensian remarks he’d made recently at Harvard, where he said ‘it is tragic what we do in the poorest neighborhoods, entrapping children in child laws which are truly stupid,’ adding that nine-year-olds could work as school janitors.”
Maureen Dowd; Out of Africa and Into Iowa; The New York Times; Dec 3, 2011.

“The living conditions were Dickensian and the teachers were allowed to beat us.”
Angela Wintle; Dickensian Boarding School; The Sunday Telegraph (London, UK); Jan 10, 2016.

See more usage examples of Dickensian in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
To stimulate life, leaving it free, however, to unfold itself, that is the first duty of the educator. -Maria Montessori, educator (31 Aug 1870-1952)

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