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Cheapskate

  • The word cheapskate appeared in the latter 1800s in the United States, and is an interesting closed compound word. A compound word is a word derived from two separate words used together to create another word. Compound words are new words that have a different meaning than the definitions of the original words. Compound words are usually composed of two nouns, or of an adjective and a noun. New compound words usually consist of two, separate words, and are called open compound words. Midway through their evolution, compound words may acquire hyphens between the two words. When a compound becomes a closed compound word, which consists of two words joined without any hyphen or space, it has usually been in use for a long time. The advent of the internet has sped up the process of becoming a closed compound word. Understanding words that are compound words will expand one’s basic English vocabulary. We will examine the meaning of the word cheapskate, its etymology, and some examples of its use in a sentence or two.


     

    A cheapskate is someone who is living on a shoestring, someone frugal to the point of being miserly. A cheapskate goes beyond frugal living and frugality or simply looking for ways to save, he is a tightwad who goes to great lengths to avoid spending money. Being thrifty, learning how to live without credit card debt, how to manage one’s personal finances, how to save money in order to live debt free or take an early retirement is a virtue. Savers living on a budget, living on one income, working on debt repayment, or those who want to live a simple life save money on groceries by using retail coupons, rebates, taking advantage of freebies, and reducing food waste. Learning to shop around when one wants to buy something results in spending one’s resources wisely. However, extreme cheapskates go beyond simply shopping at a resale shop or a thrift store, they refuse to spend money in situations where they should. Ebeneezer Scrooge was a cheapskate until his change of heart. A list of synonyms for cheapskate that may be found in a word thesaurus: tightwad, miser, penny-pincher. The word cheapskate was coined in the United States in the 1890s, and is a compound word made up of the word cheap and the word skate. In the late 1800s, the word skate was slang for a despicable person or a broken-down horse. This use of the word skate is probably taken from a Scottish slang word, skite, which had the same meaning.

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    Examples

    Former Trump Exec Barbara Res Says He’s Actually A Christmas-Hating Cheapskate (The Huffington Post)

    Not only does this set of DIY coasters serve a functional purpose, they also satisfy my inner cheapskate. (The Houston Chronicle)

    He was traded to the Rangers on June 1, 1976, mostly because cheapskate owner Calvin Griffith didn’t want to pay him. (The Dallas Morning News)

    I am not saying this adds to the cheapskate flavor we get from his charitable giving, or apparent lack thereof. (The Washington Examiner)


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