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Jan 3, 2019
This week’s theme
Words to describe people

This week’s words
fabulist
numpty
rentier
fink
swellhead

fink
“Lucy Goes on Strike” episode of the TV show Here’s Lucy
Photo: CBS/Wikimedia

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

fink

PRONUNCIATION:
(fink)

MEANING:
noun:1. A contemptible person.
 2. An informer.
 3. A strikebreaker.
verb intr.:1. To inform against someone.
 2. To fail to do something promised.
 3. To stop working.

ETYMOLOGY:
The origin of the term is not certain. One theory suggests it’s named after Pinkerton, a private security company whose agents were hired to break up strikes late in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Another possibility is that it’s from German slang Fink (finch), used by students for other students who were not affiliated with a fraternity (i.e., they were free birds). Earliest documented use: 1903.

USAGE:
“There is also inside the compound walls a fink, or someone who’s had enough, or a conspirator who’s sold out the mayor for far less than 30 pieces of silver.”
Rosie DiManno; Mayor Needs Help to Get Off the Crazy Train; Toronto Star (Canada); Nov 8, 2013.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Earth is here so kind, that just tickle her with a hoe and she laughs with a harvest. -Douglas William Jerrold, playwright and humorist (3 Jan 1803-1857)

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