Word + Quiz: pillory

Word + Quiz: pillory

noun: a wooden instrument of punishment on a post with holes for the wrists and neck; offenders were locked in and so exposed to public scorn

verb: expose to ridicule or public scorn

verb: punish by putting in a pillory

verb: criticize harshly or violently


The word pillory has appeared in eight articles on NYTimes.com in the past year, including on April 17 in “Let He Who Is Without Yeezys Cast the First Stone” by Rick Rojas:

The pastors were among those included on an Instagram account that recently popped up called “PreachersNSneakers,” where men and women of God are shown wearing footwear that could cost more than a month’s rent for many of their followers. Before long, each post was clogged with hundreds of comments.

“Pass the collection plate,” one person wrote, “daddy needs a new pair of shoes.”

…. The pastors have contributed little to the conversation. They have talked about it privately and reached out to the person behind the account, who said he was told by the pastors that shoes and clothes are often given to them. Others on Instagram defended them, arguing that the account aimed to sow discord and pillory the pastors.