Word of the Day : May 24, 2013


noun GOHLD-brik


1 a : a worthless brick that looks like gold

b : something that appears valuable but is actually worthless

2 : a person who shirks assigned work

Did You Know?

"The gold brick swindle is an old one but it crops up constantly," states an 1881 National Police Gazette article referring to the con artist's practice of passing off bricks made of base metal as gold. By the time World War I was under way, the word "goldbrick" was associated with another sort of trickery. The sense of the word meaning "shirker" originated in the slang of the United States Army, where it referred to a soldier who feigned illness or injury in order to get out of work or service. That sense has since expanded in usage to refer to any person who avoids or tries to get out of his or her assignment.


Jake is a goldbrick who spends too much time trying to cozy up to the boss instead of finishing his assignments.

"History is full of stories of inspirations that come in idle moments and dreams. It almost makes you wonder whether loafers, goldbricks and no-accounts aren't responsible for more of the world's great ideas, inventions and masterpieces than the hardworking." - From an article by Tim Kreider in The New York Times, July 1, 2012

Name That Synonym

Fill in the blanks to create a synonym of "goldbrick": ¬le. The answer is …


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