Did You Know?
Tin has never commanded as much respect as some other metals. As a reflection of this, its name has long been used in terms denoting the tawdry or petty. Tin-pot has been used for minor or insignificant things or people since the early 1800s. Tinhorn has named fakes or frauds (especially gamblers) since the second half of that century, and tin lizzie has been a nickname for an inexpensive car since Ford introduced the Model T. Another example is tin-pan, meaning "noisy, harsh, tinny." That word features in the name of the famous Tin Pan Alley, in which it evokes the tinny sound of pianos pounded furiously by musicians plugging tunes to producers.
"Every fascist, authoritarian and tin-pot dictator in history has tried to shut down dissent." — Michael Goodwin, The New York Post, 15 June 2017
"What a gaggle of tin-pot soldiers we were, the intelligent bored silly, the mediocre exhausted, and the dense frightened out of their wits." — Paul West, Harper's, January 2009
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