Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for December 7, 2018 is:
sandbag • \SAND-bag\ • verb
1 : to bank, stop up, or weight with sandbags
2 a : to hit or stun with or as if with a sandbag
b : to treat unfairly or harshly
c : to coerce by crude means
d : to conceal or misrepresent one’s true position, potential, or intent especially in order to take advantage over : to hide the truth about oneself so as to gain an advantage over another
Management must have realized that reading employee survey responses aloud at the company-wide meeting would make employees feel sandbagged, but they chose to do it anyway.
“Lock’s season began with Heisman Trophy dreams. It has detoured toward a familiar and unfortunate destination, the place where the quarterback’s career numbers are sandbagged by his struggles when the spotlight shines.” — Ben Frederickson, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 3 Nov. 2018
Did you know?
In the 19th century, the verb sandbag began to be used to describe the act of bludgeoning someone with a small, sand-filled bag—a tactic employed by ruffians, usually as a prelude to robbing their victims. The verb went on to develop metaphorical extensions, such as “to coerce by crude means.” By the 1940s, it was being used of a strategy in which a poker player with a good hand bets weakly, in order to draw other players into holding on to their hands and raising the bet. The use of sandbag has since evolved to refer to a general strategy of playing down one’s position in order to gain some sort of advantage.
December 07, 2018 at 01:00PM