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Word of the Day - for Toastmasters everywhere
Thursday 25th January 2018
Archive | Previous word | Today's word |

tinhorn (adjective and noun) TIN-hawn

An unimportant person pretending to be important, or to be wealthy or to wield influence.

He used it on the first day when he spoke of his desire to 'hunt down and find these folks...' and compounded the hoedown image by speaking later of 'tinhorn terrorists'.

Euan Ferguson, The Observer, 23 September 2001. The Observer

Brent Colby was doing an incomplete job of concealing his distaste; he was enough of a tinhorn to clear his throat theatrically.

Thomas McGuane, Gallatin Canyon. Amazon

An order was given in Spanish, and Frosty was toppled like the statue of a tinhorn dictator, if perhaps a bit more carefully.

Andy Newman, The New York Times, 9 January 2009. New York Times

True leadership means guaranteeing our national security and role as a world leader - and one of the best ways to do this is by decreasing our dangerous dependence on foreign oil, so that America cannot be held hostage to oil imports and tinhorn tyrants like Saddam Hussein.

Al Gore, The New York Times, 21 April 2002. New York Times

In Iran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is confident that powerful nations abroad will overlook his thuggery in hopes of getting a chance to buy his country's oil - or in worry that any tension would send world prices even higher. Ahmadinejad also knows - and fears - that without supporting terrorists or trying to acquire a nuclear bomb that he'd be just another tinhorn loudmouth like Cuba's Fidel Castro or Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe.

Victor Davis Hanson, Chicago Tribune, 13 April 2007.

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