panjandrum was our Word of the Day on 03/10/2015. Hear the podcast!
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Recent Examples of panjandrum from the Web
The industry’s panjandrums insist that a new culture of compliance will make FDA site closures a thing of the past.
The forum, for its part, will drum up support for the venture among the world’s panjandrums—and with luck some dosh as well.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'panjandrum.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Panjandrum looks like it might be a combination of Latin and Greek roots, but in fact it is a nonsense word coined by British actor and playwright Samuel Foote around 1755. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Foote made up a line of gibberish to "test the memory of his fellow actor Charles Macklin, who had asserted that he could repeat anything after hearing it once." Foote's made-up line was, "And there were present the Picninnies, and the Joblillies, and the Garyulies and the Grand Panjandrum himself, with the little round button at the top." Some 75 years after this, Foote's passage appeared in a book of stories for children by the Anglo-Irish writer Maria Edgeworth. It took another quarter century before English speakers actually incorporated panjandrum into their general vocabulary.
Seen and Heard
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