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Unknown, likely Germanic. Compare Dutch spraak (speech), spreek (speak), spreuk (saying), sprook (a story, fiction, tale, or false idea). First recorded in the late 1890s and early 1900s, suggesting a possible derivation from Afrikaans (i.e. brought back by soldiers returning from the Boer War). With the exception of a few early uses of sprook, the word's spelling has been fixed since it first entered the language. The uncommon <ui> digraph provides further evidence for an Afrikaans or Dutch origin.



spruik (third-person singular simple present spruiks, present participle spruiking, simple past and past participle spruiked)

  1. (transitive, Australia) To promote a thing or idea to another person.
    • 1948, Louis Esson, Louis Esson and the Australian Theatre, page 18,
      There was no spruiking or showmanship, no flash shirts or ten-gallon hats.
    • 2008 December 30, Lennon spruiks laptop 28 years after his death, The Sydney Morning Herald.
    • 2011, Kylie Ofiu, Work as a spruiker, 365 Ways to Make Money, page 120,
      It can be a hard job, constantly on your feet, trying to think of things to say to lure people into the store you are spruiking for.


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