groundling was our Word of the Day on 12/20/2009. Hear the podcast!
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Recent Examples of groundling from the Web
Goslings and ducklings are baby birds, but a groundling is an uncritical or unrefined person (too poor to pay for a seat in Renaissance theaters) and a changeling is a child exchanged by fairies, or any kind of replacement of inferior value.
The section of the theater where the groundlings stand?
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'groundling.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
In Elizabethan times, play-going audiences were a diverse bunch. In the upper gallery, the wealthier patrons fanned themselves and looked with disdain at those who could only afford the penny admission to the pit below. Pit spectators had to sit or stand in close proximity on the bare floor, exposed to the sweltering sun or the dampening rain. At times, they behaved less than decorously, and they reportedly emitted a less than pleasant odor. The pit was also called the ground; those in it were groundlings. Today, we use groundlings to refer not only to the less than couth among us, but also (often with some facetiousness) to ordinary Janes or Joes.
Seen and Heard
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