Set 26 – Five New Words for Nov 26

Theme: Terms that appear offensive but aren’t

1. queer street

MEANING:
noun: A state of hardship, especially financial hardship.

USAGE:
“Mike Bessey said: You can’t really make a case that UK farmers are on queer street as a whole — on average they are surviving and starting modest investment.”

2. niggler

MEANING:
noun:
1. A person who pays excessive attention to petty details.
2. A person who criticizes constantly or repeatedly.

USAGE:
“A niggler might note that every element is at times an eensy bit too perfectly meshed and worked over. Today, I don’t feel like niggling.”

3. tar baby

MEANING:
noun: Something to be avoided: a sticky situation or problem from which it’s almost impossible to extricate oneself.

USAGE:
“The Nixon tar baby clung to Mr. Ford. A month after taking office he pardoned the ex-president, immediately dissipating much of the good will derived from his handling of the White House changeover.”

4. cockshy

MEANING:
noun:
1. The game of throwing missiles at a target; such a throw.
2. An object of criticism or ridicule.

USAGE:
“Digby Jones: If he wants to take a cockshy at business for electoral reasons that’s understandable. But I don’t want it doing damage to the image of business, particularly in our schools.”

“The rabble of Edinburgh were all out … to hurl their missiles of hate at that sure cock-shy.”

5. niggard  (NIG-hurd)

MEANING:
noun: A mean, stingy person.
adjective: Stingy.

USAGE:
“It is a niggard’s gift that costs the giver nothing.”

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