SHANE’S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS: The World Is Full of Crashing Lackeys.


Welcome to another installment of SHANE’S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS, a regular Wednesday feature at NA Confidential.

But why all these newfangled words?

Why not the old, familiar, comforting words, like the ones you’re sure to hear when asking the city’s corporate attorney why the answers to my FOIA/public records request for Bicentennial commission finances, due to be handed over on July 8, still haven’t arrived on September 21?

Bicentennial commission financial trail? What’s two (yawn) weeks (shrug) after 463 days?

September 21 update: Make that 11 weeks since the FOIA record request’s due date and  525 days since I asked Bob Caesar to tell us how many books were left unsold, and how much the city’s 200-year “summer of love” fest cost.

It’s because a healthy vocabulary isn’t about intimidation through erudition. Rather, it’s about selecting the right word and using it correctly, whatever one’s pay grade or station in life.

Even these very same iniquitous, bond-slush-engorged municipal corporate attorneys who customarily are handsomely remunerated to suppress information can benefit from this enlightening expansion of personal horizons, and really, as we contemplate what they knew and when they knew it, all we have left is plenty of time — and the opportunity to learn something, if we’re so inclined.

Today’s word is lackey … and no, not Chicago Cubs pitcher John Lackey.

lackey or lacquey


noun, plural lackeys

1. a servile follower; toady.
2. a footman or liveried manservant.

verb (used with object), lackeyed, lackeying

3. to attend as a lackey does.

Origin of lackey 
1520-30; Middle French laquais, perhaps < Catalan lacayo, alacayo < ?

As used in a sentence:

Mayor Gahan’s lackey eagerly approached with a freshly polished chamber pot, only to be brusquely ordered back to his office in the Public Works Projects wing of the Down Low Bunker.