January 17, 2021

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Word + Quiz: multifarious

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: having many aspects or varieties

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The word multifarious has appeared in 12 articles on NYTimes.com in the past year, including on Oct. 3 in “Use Your Newspaper to Make a Flibber (A What?)” by Catherine Hong:

You are forgiven if you draw a complete blank on seeing the word “flibber.” Constructed out of newspaper and resembling a crazy cross between a drum major’s baton, a pompom and a palm tree, it’s the title project of the 1964 children’s book “How to Make Flibbers, Etc.: A Book of Things to Make and Do”by the author and illustrator Robert Lopshire.

… Who knew that such an object of extravagant whimsy could be created so quickly, using kindergarten-level skills and not even scissors or tape? Children instinctively grasp the Flibber’s multifarious uses: Impromptu parades, dress-up tails and low-risk, one-on-one combat are just the start. Meanwhile, more than one adult Flibber maker swears it is excellent for getting her dog off the sofa.

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