Word of the Day – 3 Nov 2011 – Flannelmouth





noun: A smooth-talker, a flatterer, or a braggart.


Besides the fabric, the word flannel can refer to a washcloth, an undergarment, or trousers, but here we are interested in its metaphorical sense which apparently developed from the soft and smooth texture of the fabric. The origin of the word flannel remains fuzzy. Two possible derivations have been suggested: from Welsh gwlanen (woolen article) or from Old French flaine (a kind of coarse wool, blanket). Earliest documented use: 1882.


“Democrats are a lot more entertaining, but they suffer from a terminal case of flannelmouth. At the conventions last summer, the partying Republicans in San Diego did everything they could to keep the press away from their fun. By contrast, the Democrats in Chicago were dragging reporters in for drinks.”
Nicholas Von Hoffman; Republicans Are From Mars Democrats Are From Venus; Life Magazine; Nov 1996.



The Potter books in general are a prolonged argument for tolerance, a prolonged plea for an end to bigotry, and I think it’s one of the reasons that some people don’t like the books, but I think that it’s a very healthy message to pass on to younger people that you should question authority and you should not assume that the establishment or the press tells you all of the truth. -J.K. Rowling, novelist (b. 1965)