September 7th, 2012

Basil in colour
  • med_cat

Friday word: Meretricious

1: of or relating to a prostitute : having the nature of prostitution <meretricious relationships>
2 a : tawdrily and falsely attractive <the paradise they found was a piece of meretricious trash — Carolyn See>
   b: superficially significant : pretentious <scholarly names to provide fig-leaves of respectability for meretricious but stylish books — Times Literary Supplement>

Etymology: Latin meretricius, from meretric-, meretrix prostitute, from merēre to earn; akin to Greek meiresthai to receive as one's portion, meros part

First Known Use: 1626

"See, my dear Watson” – he propped his test-tube in the rack, and began to lecture with the air of a professor addressing his class – “it is not really difficult to construct a series of inferences, each dependent upon its predecessor and each simple in itself. If, after doing so, one simply knocks out all the central inferences and presents one’s audience with the starting-point and the conclusion, one may produce a startling, though possibly a meretricious, effect.
(Arthur Conan Doyle, The adventure of the dancing men)