Set 29 – Five New Words For Nov 29

Theme: Words coined after proper names

1. peeping Tom

MEANING:
noun: Someone who gets sexual pleasure from secretly watching others; voyeur.

ETYMOLOGY:
From the legend of Lady Godiva who rode unclothed through the streets of Coventry, England to persuade her husband to lower taxes on the people. All the townsfolk shuttered their windows, except for a tailor named Tom who couldn’t resist and watched. Earliest documented use: 1769.

USAGE:
“A peeping Tom who used a stealth camera to photograph up the skirt of a cabin attendant during a flight last month has avoided charges.”

2. nice nelly

MEANING:
noun: A person excessively concerned with propriety, modesty, etc

ETYMOLOGY:
A specialized use of the name Nelly, a nickname for Helen or Eleanor.

USAGE:
“Glen Rounds wrote: Instead of trying to make a nice nelly of me they encourage me to be my own nasty self, or even more so.”

3. nosy parker or nosey parker

MEANING:
noun: An overly inquisitive person.

USAGE:
“Rural societies are relatively transparent: the nosy parker can sniff out all the gossip after mass or in the pub.”

4. doubting Thomas

MEANING:
noun: A person who is habitually doubtful or someone who refuses to believe something until given proof.

ETYMOLOGY:
After Saint Thomas, apostle, who doubted Jesus Christ’s resurrection according to the Bible.

USAGE:
“At four, our daughter is a doubting Thomas so we pry open the mouths of snapdragons to show her the reason behind the name.”

5. lazy Susan

MEANING:
noun: A revolving tray used for serving food, or a similar structure used to keep objects within easy reach.

USAGE:
“Lang Lang ate more than anyone, spinning the lazy Susan at the center of the table and scooping off.”

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