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gadfly

2024-05-28 13:00 作者: 来源: 本站 浏览: 6 views Make a Comment 字号:

摘要: Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 28, 2024 is: gadfly • \GAD-flye\  • no...

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 28, 2024 is:

gadfly • \GAD-flye\  • noun

In literal use, gadfly refers to any of various flies (such as a horsefly, botfly, or warble fly) that bite or annoy livestock. Gadfly is most popular in figurative use, however, where it refers to someone who provokes or annoys other people especially by persistent criticism.

// The journalist was known as a gadfly for exposing hypocrisy in politics.

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Examples:

"For years, the [L.A. County Board of Supervisors] has regularly had a 'performance evaluation' scheduled for closed session on its agenda. Any reporter or gadfly worth their salt knew this was actually just a time for the board to call a department head onto the carpet and scream at them behind closed doors." — Jaclyn Cosgrove, The Los Angeles Times, 9 Dec. 2023

Did you know?

It's easy to guess what puts the fly in gadfly: in its oldest meaning, fly refers to a winged insect. But (gadzooks!) what about the gad? As a standalone English word, gad means "chisel," but it once could be used for a spike, spear, or rod for goading cattle. It was in the 16th century that gad was joined with fly to refer to any of several insects that bother livestock. Before too long, English speakers began applying gadfly to people who annoy or provoke others. One of history's most famous gadflies was the philosopher Socrates, who was known for his constant questioning of his fellow Athenians' ethics, misconceptions, and assumptions. In his Apology, Plato describes Socrates' characterization of Athens as a large and sluggish horse and of Socrates himself as the fly that bites and rouses it. Many translations use gadfly in this portion of the Apology, and Socrates is sometimes referred to as the "gadfly of Athens."



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