Saturday, December 20, 2008


Word of the Day
Flout (verb)
Pronunciation: ['flawt]
Definition: To mock or jeer at; to express contempt in one's behavior.
Usage: This word is often mistakenly replaced with "flaunt," which means "to show off," with results that range from misleading to hilarious. You may "flout the law" by breaking it, but to "flaunt the law" would require an ostentatious display of law-making. The noun "flout" may be applied to a singular piece of mockery: "That was a particularly telling flout, Cruella." Mockery in general is "floutage."

Suggested Usage: The spoken sense of "flout" is now less common: "Dennis was flouting the CEO to anyone who would listen and to several who wouldn't." More often the contempt is expressed by action: "That top flouts all standards of decency; don't imagine for a moment you're going out dressed like that."
Etymology: Probably from Middle English flouten "to play the flute," which can be traced only as far back as the Old French name for the instrument itself, "flaüte" or "fleüte." (These two different versions of the instrument's name account for the fact that someone who plays the flute is called a "flautist.) The connection with mockery may relate to the laughing tones of the flute since the same idea seems to have occurred to the Dutch, who use "fluiten" to mean both "to play the flute" and "to mock." –Dr. Language,

It is not a good idea to flout a Pitbull.

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