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August 13, 2012

Word of the Day

  • a-go-go
  • audio pronunciation
  • \ah-GOH-goh\


: of, relating to, or being a disco or the music or dances performed there : go-go
: being in a whirl of motion
: being up-to-date — often used postpositively

The shop is chock-full of the latest in fashionable home decor—it's decorating trends a-go-go.

"All of the major plot points are either utterly predictable or thoroughly explained by one of the characters, and that becomes kind of a drag after a while. Nonetheless, there's tons of suspense, monsters-a-go-go and strong performances from the whole cast." — From a film review by Alonso Duralde on, June 4, 2012


The English word "a-go-go" has two functions. It's an adjective, as we've defined it above, but it's also a noun referring to a nightclub for dancing to popular music—that is, a disco. Both the noun and the first meaning of the adjective betray the word's origins: it's from the name of a Parisian discotheque—the Whisky à Gogo, which translates to "whiskey galore." The French club, which opened in 1947 or possibly 1948, predated the American discos that have also used the name, but the American versions undoubtedly had much to do with spreading the term "a-go-go" in English: the most famous of these, the still-operating Whisky a Go Go on Los Angeles' Sunset Strip, opened in 1964, the year before our earliest evidence of the generic use of either the noun or the adjective "a-go-go."

From Merriam-Webster Online at

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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.