January 24, 2019
panjandrum (noun)
\pan-JAN-drum\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: a powerful personage or pretentious official
How do you use it?
Tyler was something of a panjandrum at his small high school, but he discovered that as a college freshman everyone started out on an equal footing and he would have to prove himself again.
Are you a word wiz?

Although they are very different words, "panjandrum," "buzzer," and "grinch" all have something in common. What do you think is true about all of these words?

Imaginative writers have always made up words that contributed to our language. "Panjandrum" was the invention of 18th-century playwright Samuel Foote, who used it in a line of nonsense verse that began with the words "And there were the Picninnies, and the Joblillies, and the Garyulies and the Grand Panjandrum himself. . . ." William Shakespeare contributed hundreds of words to English. Among them are "buzzer," "lonely," "generous," and "moonbeam." A more recent author who contributed to English is Dr. Seuss. Thanks to him, we now call someone who spoils the pleasure of others a "grinch." "Grinch" comes from Dr. Seuss's 1957 book _How the Grinch Stole Christmas_.
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