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Dec 23, 2015
This week’s theme
Yours to discover

This week’s words
quoz
vidimus
pinchbeck
jayhawker
expergefacient

pinchbeck
Christopher Pinchbeck
Print: John Faber the Younger

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

pinchbeck

PRONUNCIATION:
(PINCH-bek)

MEANING:
adjective: Counterfeit or spurious.
noun: An alloy of zinc and copper, used as imitation gold in jewelry.

ETYMOLOGY:
After watchmaker Christopher Pinchbeck (1670-1732), who invented it. It’s ironic that today his name is a synonym for something counterfeit, but in his time his fame was worldwide, not only as the inventor of this curious alloy, but also as a maker of musical clocks and orreries. The composition of this gold-like alloy was a closely-guarded secret, but it didn’t prevent others from passing off articles as if made from this alloy... faking fake gold!

USAGE:
“There had been something precious between them, like true gold among pinchbeck.”
Jo Beverley; The Secret Wedding; Signet; 2009.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
I've also seen that great men are often lonely. This is understandable, because they have built such high standards for themselves that they often feel alone. But that same loneliness is part of their ability to create. -Yousuf Karsh, portrait photographer (23 Dec 1908-2002)

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