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Mar 14, 2014
This week's theme
20-letter words

This week's words
polyphiloprogenitive
Little Lord Fauntleroy
anthropomorphization
silk-stocking district
secret of Polichinelle

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Next week's theme
Miscellaneous words
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

secret of Polichinelle

PRONUNCIATION:
(SEE-krit uv po-LISH-i-nel)

MEANING:
noun: A supposed secret that's widely known: an open secret.

ETYMOLOGY:
From French secret de Polichinelle. Polichinelle (English Punch or Punchinello) was a stock character in Italian puppetry. Earliest documented use: 1828.

USAGE:
"The tsar waited until after the memorial services on the fortieth day after the empress's death ... and announced that he had decided to marry Katya. The games between the tsar and the minister, the secret of Polichinelle, were over."
Edvard Radzinsky; Alexander II: The Last Great Tsar; Free Press; 2005.

"How often has she taunted me with lack of dignified reserve and needful caution! How many times has she saucily insinuated that all my affairs are the secret of Polichinelle!"
Charlotte Brontë; Villette; Smith, Elder & Co.; 1853.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from that of their social environment. -Albert Einstein, physicist, Nobel laureate (1879-1955)

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