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Spiel

  • Spiel is an interesting word that came into use in the latter 1800s. We will examine the meaning of the word spiel, where it probably came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.


     

    A spiel is primarily a sales pitch, but one that is rehearsed well and delivered in an emotional or thoughtful manner. More than your average sales pitch, a spiel usually involves a story or a reasoned argument designed to break down the buyer’s resistance. A spiel has a beginning, middle and end. When a salesman goes into his spiel, the listener will be there awhile unless he interrupts the salesman. The word spiel has been in use since the 1870s or 1880s, and is most probably derived from the German word Spiel which means play. It is believed the word made its way into the English language through Yiddish. The plural form of spiel is spiels.

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    Examples

    I heard Smith’s apology on the radio first and thought it sounded reasonably sincere, but when I watched his spiel on television, the optics looked decidedly hammy. (The Dominion Post)

    I remember in the mid-1990s when sweet talking, glib Al Gore, wearing the vice president’s hat, went around the country trying to sell anyone who would listen to his spiel on how the new internet should have no restrictions. (The Wichita Eagle)

    Your docent will begin his spiel with an admission that this shrine to Texas history goes heavy on “saddles, spurs and firearms”—three interests of J.P. Bryan, the Houston businessman who, in 2015, donated his personal collection to start the museum, located about a dozen blocks inland from the Seawall but well worth the short trip. (Houstonian Magazine)

     


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