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Picture of Kalleh
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My dad often used the word "Yahoo" to describe a "lout" or a "boorish, crass" person. It comes from a member of brutes in Swift's Gulliver's Travels. Yahoo is a favorite word of mine when the situation presents itself big grin!

Other words in common use that have come from literature, or the like?
 
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Picture of arnie
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Well, we have "lilliput" or "lliputian", which comes from the same book, Gulliver's Travels. Another that is apposite at the moment is "Big Brother" from Brave New World. "Utopia" comes from the book of the same name by St Thomas More...
 
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Several words from Gulliver's four voyages in Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift (1726) (italics show Amer. Her. Dict.; quotation marks show Swift):

Voyage 1: Lilliputian: NOUN: A very small person or being. ADJECTIVE: 1. Very small; diminutive. 2. Trivial; petty. After Lilliput, a country ... where everything was diminutive. The people were "human creature[s] not six inches high".

Voyage 2: Brobdingnagian: Immense; enormous. After Brobdingnag, a country ... where everything was enormous and the people were "as tall as an ordinary spire steeple, and took about ten yards at every stride."

Voyage 3: Laputan: Absurdly impractical or visionary, especially to the neglect of more useful activity. After the flying island of Laputa ..., where absurd projects are pursued and useful pursuits neglected.

Voyage 4: yahoo: A crude or brutish person. From Yahoo, member of a race of brutes in the same book. The Yahoos represent the worst that the human race can do; thet contrast the Houynhnhnms, a race of intelligent horses (onomatopoeia?) who live together in a calm, rational utopian society.

Has anyone else seen flapper used to mean an employee whose job is to get the boss's attention (flapping his ear) for those who wish to speak with him? This too would be from the Laputa voyage.
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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"Has anyone else seen flapper used to mean an employee whose job is to get the boss's attention (flapping his ear) for those who wish to speak with him?"
___________________________

Any relation to fluffer? wink
 
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"Has anyone else seen flapper ..."
___________________________

Any relation to fluffer?

___________________________

Any relation to Flipper? razz
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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Flipper don't need no fluffer for his flapper, an' tha's a fact!
 
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