MacGuffin was our Word of the Day on 06/16/2016. Hear the podcast!
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Alfred Hitcock and MacGuffin
The first person to use MacGuffin as a word for a plot device was Alfred Hitchcock. He borrowed it from an old shaggy-dog story in which some passengers on a train interrogate a fellow passenger carrying a large, strange-looking package. The fellow says the package contains a "MacGuffin," which, he explains, is used to catch tigers in the Scottish Highlands. When the group protests that there are no tigers in the
Origin and Etymology of macguffin
First Known Use: circa 1939See Words from the same year
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Britannica English: Translation of MacGuffin for Arabic speakers
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