Opposition – photo by Eileen Long

I went to Plymouth Library today and sat upstairs in the reference section opposite a man who had forgotten his glasses so had to read the Plymouth Herald with a magnifying glass.

I was there to consult the OED, which made me feel like a proper writer for a few minutes.

Definitions of Claptrap (rearranged only a little…for Opposition)

Don’t vent claptraps about your own virtue.

I hate that air of clap-trap, which your recent poets prize.

He fancies he covers his own astounding selfishness and indifference by this brutal clap-trap.

He disdained all cant and claptrap.

That is very eloquent but it is what I call vicious and wicked claptrap.

The piece at one point turns to deplorable dramatic claptrap.

A mechanical contrivance for making a clapping noise to express applause.

Clap trap…a kind of clapper for making a noise in the theatres.

A street juggler sings some ditty to the sound of claptraps which he swings or works in his hands.

Passing into true adjectival use: claptrappy.

The clap trap system which he has uniformly adopted during his theatrical career.

They triumphantly drew the claptrap conclusion that…

Claptrap appeals to the war – feeling of the day.

Plato….a regular claptrap speaker.

The subject is more or less claptrap.

Hence claptrappy
Her plebicolar clap-trapperies.

Till goodwill sounds verily, cheerily, not claptrappily.

Did I not tell you that it was claptrappish?

The language being either claptrappish or vapid.

His clap-trappy programme of a Free Church, a free school, free labor and free land.

A trick or device to catch applause; an expression designed to elicit applause.

Sentiments which, by the theatrical people, are known by the way of claptraps.

There will be no claptraps, nothing about ‘Britannia rules the waves’.


A trap
To catch
A clap.

One thought on “Claptrap

Comments are closed.