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Goldbrick

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Goldbrick

Postby Dr. Goodword » Fri Aug 09, 2013 10:17 pm

• goldbrick •


Pronunciation: gold-brik •
Hear it!


Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. A bar of gold. 2. A shirker, a pretender, a person who dodges work or duties out of laziness.

Notes: Obviously, today's word may refer to a brick cast from gold; however, it is no longer used in that sense. Brick now refer almost exclusively to the building material and gold bars are called ingots. In fact, today's word is used more frequently now as a verb than as a noun: to goldbrick means "to shirk or only pretend to work, to avoid shouldering one's duties".

In Play: Goldbricking is a symptom of an ailing workplace, but it is found anywhere we find a job to be done, "The company went down under the sheer weight of the goldbricks it accumulated over the years." This word is another we inherited from military life (see Warspeak in our Library). In his novel, Once there was a War (1959), John Steinbeck wrote, "In the ranks, billeted with the stinking, cheating, foul-mouthed goldbricks, there were true heroes."

Word History: The second meaning of today's word originated in the late 19th century in reference to a swindle in which a fake goldbrick was created out of base metal except for one corner, which was solid gold. The entire brick was then gold plated. The mountebankbehind the scheme would then offer the brick for sale in hope that some naïf would test only the corner and buy the brick for solid gold. The colloquial sense of a goldbrick then became "a fake" and by World War I it was applied to those who faked wounds to avoid combat. By World War II it referred to any kind of shirker in the Army, a sense which was absorbed by the general vocabulary after the war. (Deb Trimmer is certainly no goldbrick, having done an excellent job in suggesting we look into the story behind today's Good Word.)
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Re: Goldbrick

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Aug 09, 2013 10:54 pm

3. A small chocolate candy bar wrapped in gold paper. Flecked with nuts, I liked it. Do they still make it?
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Re: Goldbrick

Postby MTC » Sat Aug 10, 2013 6:50 am

Searching online for Perry's Gold Brick chocolate bar, I came upon Elmer's Gold Brick Egg. See http://www.candyblog.net/blog/item/elmers_dark_eggs

Apparently the poor souls gulled by the Gold Brick ruse described by the good Dr. G were not well-versed in the classics. (They seldom are.) Otherwise the dupees? would know Archimedes had devised a test to detect the same type of fraud thousands of years ago:

"According to a story told by Vitruvius,[5] Hiero suspected he was being cheated by the goldsmith to whom he had supplied the gold to make a votive crown for a temple. He asked Archimedes to find out if all the gold had been used, as had been agreed. Archimedes, on discovering the principle of displacement needed to measure the density of the crown is said to have shouted "eureka, eureka!" while running naked through Syracuse. Vitruvius concludes this story by stating that Archimedes' method successfully detected the goldsmith's fraud; he had taken some of the gold and substituted silver instead."

Proof positive a classical education pays!

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiero_II)
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Re: Goldbrick

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Aug 10, 2013 12:01 pm

Did he also discover streaking?
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Re: Goldbrick

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat Aug 10, 2013 12:08 pm

Perry Lassiter wrote:3. A small chocolate candy bar wrapped in gold paper. Flecked with nuts, I liked it. Do they still make it?




Not too long ago I was in a candy store and saw
coins: chocolate wrapped in gold foil. Had them as a kid.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Re: Goldbrick

Postby MTC » Sat Aug 10, 2013 5:31 pm

Perry Lassiter wrote:Did he also discover streaking?


Yes. He was known as το σερί χρυσό ("The Gold Streak.")
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Re: Goldbrick

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:02 pm

Obviously sister to Enrico.
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Re: Goldbrick

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:41 pm

Sure enough σερί translates to streak and χρυσό translates to gold. Strangely, Google says σερί χρυσό translates to "consecutive gold", whatever that means. Gringo! - In TexMex that means "Greek", but they apply it to Anglophones. Perry: How does one say "The Gold Streak" in Koiné Greek?
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Re: Goldbrick

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sun Aug 11, 2013 2:14 pm

Not sure at that point there's any diffference between classical and koine.
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