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Aug 1, 2001
This week's theme
Words evolved using folk etymologies

This week's words
humble_pie
kickshaw
wiseacre
rakehell
chaise longue

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

wiseacre

Pronunciation RealAudio

wiseacre (WIZ-ay-kuhr) noun

One who obnoxiously pretends to be wise; smart-aleck; wise-guy.

[From Middle Dutch wijsseggher, soothsayer, translation of Middle High German wissage, from Old High German wissago, wise person, altered by folk etymology.]

"Mr. Mahoney, the wiseacre dad on NBC's `Frasier,' here has the chance to play gruff and sarcastic until late in the play, when a lifetime of artifice crumbles and his guilt and pain are exposed."
Joel Henning, Theater: Artifice Unmasked; Chekhov Cluttered, The Wall Street Journal (New York), Jun 5, 2001.

X-Bonus

A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs--jolted by every pebble in the road. -Henry Ward Beecher, preacher and writer (1813-1887)

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