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A.Word.A.Day--sad sack

Pronunciation RealAudio

sad sack (sad sak) noun

A well-meaning but hopelessly inept person, especially a soldier.

[After the cartoon character created by cartoonist George Baker (1915-1975) during World War II.]

"Zahn, always effective as a kick-back space case, shows more depth this time around as a well-meaning sad sack who spirals dramatically downward." Claudia Puig, Charming Barrymore Lightens 'Boys' Journey, The USA Today (Arlington, Virginia), Oct 19, 2001.

Charles Boycott of Ireland gave us `boycott', George Orwell of 1984 fame brought us `Orwellian', and sharpshooter Annie Oakley gave us another term for a `free ticket'. While they were all living breathing beings, their fictional counterparts are not behind in giving us words after themselves. In this week's AWAD we'll see terms coined after characters from a cartoon, novel, pop song, theater and newspaper. -Anu


I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet. -Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948)

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