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."


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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