Word of the Day Archive
Thursday May 5, 2005
claque \KLACK\ , noun:
1. A group hired to applaud at a performance.
2. A group of fawning admirers.
He cultivated the "Georgetown set" of leading journalists and columnists and had them cheering for him as if he had hired a claque.
-- Theodore Draper, "Little Heinz And Big Henry", New York Times, September 6, 1992
Behind the hacks was the claque. They cheered and whooped in a vague way, like a group of restrained English persons at a Texas rodeo: "Whee! Whoooo! Polite cough!"
-- Simon Hoggart, "Yee hah, chaps! It's the manifesto", The Guardian, May 11, 2001
Charles Bukowski suffers from too good a press-- a small but loudly enthusiastic claque.
-- Kenneth Rexroth, "There's Poetry in a Ragged Hitch-Hiker", New York Times, July 5, 1964
Claque comes from French, from claquer, "to clap," ultimately of imitative origin.