Know Your Next Word : fool's gold

1. fool's gold :

Noun :

1. iron or copper pyrites, sometimes mistaken for gold

2. something that appears valuable but is worthless

Usage :

Although the old rust-belt industries of the 20th century had to go, Britain turned its back on industry rather too readily. We were bedazzled by financial services : fool's gold from the City.(Matthew Parris : There's No New Motor to Drive the Economy : The Times (London - UK) : Jan 24 - 2009.)

Etymology :

Shakespeare wrote in The Merchant of Venice, "All that glisters is not gold." Fool's gold is another name for pyrite, also known as iron pyrite or iron sulfide. Its shiny yellow luster has many fooled into believing they have struck gold while holding a mineral of little value.

The name pyrite is from Greek pyrites (of fire), from pyr (fire) because it produces sparks when struck against a hard surface. Some related words are fire, pyre, pyrosis (heartburn), pyromania (an irresistible impulse to set things on fire), and empyreal (relating to the sky or heaven, believed to contain pure light or fire.).

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