One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A girl in various traditional European fairy tales. In the version by Charles Perrault she is exploited as a servant by her family but enabled by a fairy godmother to attend a royal ball. She meets and captivates Prince Charming but has to flee at midnight, accidentally leaving one of the glass slippers she is wearing behind. The prince sends servants all over the country to find the young woman whose foot fits the slipper: when Cinderella is finally found, she and Prince Charming marry.
- 1.1as noun A person or thing that is undeservedly neglected or ignored.‘is research into breast cancer to remain the Cinderella of medicine?’
- ‘It is that mentality that has made the grammar schools the Cinderellas of the Five Year Plan.’
- ‘In terms of recognition, children's companies have been the Cinderellas of theatre.’
- ‘They are the Cinderellas of the public sector workers.’
- ‘According to Cllr Brian Stanley athletics is still the Cinderella of sport in Laois.’
- ‘This is the Cinderella of the arts, dependent on celebrities and multinationals for its erratic funding.’
- ‘The art gallery may justly be considered the Cinderella of leisure provision in the city.’
- ‘Mental health patients are the Cinderellas of the NHS, always have been, always will be.’
- 1.1as noun A person or thing that is undeservedly neglected or ignored.
From cinder + the diminutive suffix -ella, on the pattern of French Cendrillon, from cendre ‘cinders’.
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