panjandrum & greenmail

panjandrum pan-JAN-druhm, noun:
An important personage or pretentious official.

Panjandrum was coined by Samuel Foote in a piece of nonsense writing:

So she went into the garden to cut a cabbage-leaf to make an apple-pie; and at the same time a great she-bear, coming up the street, pops its head into the shop. “What! No soap?” So he died, and she very imprudently married the barber: and there were present the Picninnies, and the Joblillies, and the Garyulies, and the grand Panjandrum himself, with the little round button at top, and they all fell to playing the game of catch-as-catch-can till the gunpowder ran out at the heels of their boots.

It was composed on the spot to challenge actor Charles Macklin’s claim that he could memorize anything. Macklin is said to have refused to repeat a word of it.

greenmail GREEN-mayl noun

The practice of buying a large quantity of a company’s stock as a hostile
takeover measure, and then selling it to the company at a higher price.

[From green (money) + mail (as in blackmail).]

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