Today’s Word of the Day is: claptrap (KLAP-trap) which is a noun and is defined as:
1) pretentious but insincere or empty language: His speeches seem erudite but analysis reveals them to be mere claptrap.
2) any artifice or expedient for winning applause or impressing the public.
What is she to sneer at a brave, enduring race of fellow-beings! Dress them in tawdry rags, locate them anywhere on the continent, write out their history in sounding claptrap , and she would be stirred by pathetic thrills.
– John Trafford Clegg, David’s Loom: a story of Rochdale’s life in the early years of the nineteenth century, 1894…
it was on the whole an enormous piece of claptrap ; the room, almost vacant when I entered, began to fill.
– Charotte Brontë, Villette, 1853
Claptrap came to English in the 1720s as a portmanteau of clap and trap .