Potemkin village love

Potemkin village

Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any false construct devised to disguise a shortcoming or improve appearances.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. something that seems impressive but in fact lacks substance

Etymologies

Purportedly named for fake settlements erected at the direction of Russian minister Grigori Alexsandrovich Potemkin to fool Empress Catherine II during her visit to Crimea in 1787. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Some congressmen, however, including quite a few Democrats, went privately to Nicaragua, did their homework and independent digging, talked to the people, and discovered the truth: that what was being offered to the congressmen on the government’s guided tours was a trip past a Potemkin village—a false-fronted democracy, all illusion and no substance—and these congressmen would vote with us on Contra aid.

    An American Life

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