"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[smith-uh-reenz] /ˌsmɪð əˈrinz/
plural noun
small pieces; bits:
broken into smithereens.
Also, smithers
[smith -erz] /ˈsmɪð ərz/ (Show IPA)
Origin of smithereens
1820-30; dial. smithers (< ?) + Hiberno-English -een diminutive suffix (< Irish -ín) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for smithereens
  • Hold the egg in your hand so you don't smash it to smithereens on the table what with all the pressure of the poking.
  • The room and its computerized controls had been blown to smithereens.
  • Mariners have long known of and feared the freak wave that can smash ocean-going vessels to smithereens.
  • They would have blasted the island and its inhabitants to smithereens using nuclear weapons.
  • Both presumptions have of course been reduced to smithereens by now.
  • The other is to physically shred the drive, smashing it to smithereens.
  • Once she finds it, she quits acting girlish and blows whoever happens to be bothering her to smithereens.
  • Nothing much was left of her but charred smithereens.
  • These games appealed primarily to males with their focus on racking up scores or blasting an alien to smithereens.
  • In seven minutes, the entire planet is about to be smashed to smithereens by a comet.
British Dictionary definitions for smithereens


plural noun
little shattered pieces or fragments
Word Origin
C19: from Irish Gaelic smidirīn, from smiodar
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for smithereens

"small fragments," 1810, smiddereens, from Irish smidirin, diminutive of smiodar "fragment," perhaps with diminutive ending as in Colleen.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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