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from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Insignificant or unimportant; minor.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Inferior; shoddy.
  • adj. Of a country, regime etc., autocratic, especially amusingly so.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In the manufacture of tinplate as at present carried on in England, the pot, filled with molten tin, in which the sheet of iron receives its first coating of tin, immediately after being taken out of the palm-oil bath.


Origin 1700s, from the low esteem for a tinker’s wares. (Wiktionary)



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