Friday, October 10, 2008

Potemkin Village

Image provided under a public domain Wikimedia license

Potemkin Village describes something that appears elaborate and impressive but in actual fact lacks substance.

ETYMOLOGY: After Grigori Aleksandrovich Potemkin [1739-1791], who had elaborate fake villages constructed for Catherine the Great's [1729-1796] tours of the Ukraine and the Crimea.

“the Potemkin village of this country's borrowed prosperity”
- Lewis H. Lapham [born 1935]