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Today's Word "fillip"

Anything small or minor on

Published in Vocabulary

fillip \FI-lip\ (noun) - 1 : A flick of the finger, a snap made by compressing a finger behind the thumb, then releasing it so that it pops outward to strike against something; 2 : anything small and minor, either trivial, as a broken fingernail, or considerable, as a garnish or embellishment of something larger.

"Alan's love life isn't worth a fillip, as his two encounters with women have been but fillips in his long pursuit of happiness."

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The origin of today's word is uncertain. We are sure that it is related to "flip," which has the same meaning. "Flip" is probably a reduction of "fillip" by the same vowel syncope that converts "police" to [pleece], "pollute" to [ploot] and, at its worse, "forecastle" to [fo'c's'le] in casual - or careless - speech. The word may be used as a verb as well as a noun. Outside this bit of versatility, it has no family at all.


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