Shashi Tharoor picks up a new term and pokes fun at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's beard.

Shashi Tharoor

Shashi Tharoor, a Congress politician, has made a reappearance on Twitter with his brilliant wordplay, and this time it's a veiled jab at Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

 On Thursday night, when a Twitter user asked him to offer a new "out of the box" term to learn, Tharoor dropped the new word, pogontrophy, and explained its meaning on the microblogging site. 

"My friend Rathin Roy, the economist, taught me a new word today: pogonotrophy, which means "the cultivation of a beard". As in, the PM's pogontrophy has been a pandemic preoccupation...," Tharoor responded to the Twitter user.

The act of cultivating, or developing and grooming, a moustache, beard, sideburns, or other facial hair is known as pogontrophy. Pogontrophy is a Greek word that first appeared in The Westminster Review in the mid-nineteenth century, according to the Lexico dictionary.

Tharoor is always throwing new phrases and creating social media attention surrounding them. In January of this year, the Lok Sabha member who hails Thiruvananthapuram published his phrase of the day on Twitter in response to former Australian footballers. Tharoor posted a photograph of previous cricketers who prophesied India's demise, along with the term epicaricacy.


“#WordIfTheDay: epicaricacy! I am not the gloating kind but there’s a special pleasure in reading these comments today... When everything else has been said, what remains but “wow”?! #IndvsAus,” Tharoor tweeted.



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