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Circumlocution office

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Circumlocution office a term of ridicule for a governmental office where business is delayed by passing through the hands of different officials.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Circumlocution office a name given by Dickens in Little Dorrit to the government offices, owing to their dilatoriness in attending to business
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Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. loqui, locutus, to speak.

Usage

In literature:

The Circumlocution Office was (as everybody knows without being told) the most important Department under Government.
"Little Dorrit" by Charles Dickens
I am like the clerk in the Circumlocution Office who always complained bitterly when any one came in to ask information.
"Strictly Business" by O. Henry
How different from the days when Dickens wrote his 'Circumlocution Office'!
"The Burning Spear" by John Galsworthy
A chapter in the Circumlocution Office painfully unfolded itself.
"Successful Exploration Through the Interior of Australia" by William John Wills
One gathers, indeed, that the art of running a Circumlocution Office is carried to a high pitch in the political sphere.
"America To-day, Observations and Reflections" by William Archer
CIRCUMLOCUTION OFFICE, a name employed by Dickens in "Little Dorrit" to designate the wearisome routine of public business.
"The Nuttall Encyclopaedia" by Edited by Rev. James Wood
He had once been town agent in the Circumlocution Office, and was well-to-do.
"Character Sketches of Romance, Fiction and the Drama" by E. Cobham Brewer
A library should never be a circumlocution office.
"A Book for All Readers" by Ainsworth Rand Spofford
It is the "Bleak House," by Charles Dickens, in which the circumlocution office is so graphically described.
"A Report of the Debates and Proceedings in the Secret Sessions of the Conference Convention" by Lucius Eugene Chittenden
Nobody at home has yet any adequate idea, I am deplorably sure, of what the Barnacles and the Circumlocution Office have done for us.
"The Life of Charles Dickens, Vol. I-III, Complete" by John Forster
In what was called praxis or practice, the young Goethe was placed in a "circumlocution office" like Weslar.
"Great Men and Famous Women, Vol. 7 of 8"
They could easier do without his services in the Circumlocution Office, than they can tolerate his fractious spirits.
"The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition" by Robert Louis Stevenson
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