Until Chicken Lady drew our attention to it, we had no idea that “spruik” is a particularly Australian word. How has the rest of the world managed to get along without this word, which means, according to the Urban Dictionary, to harangue or address a meeting or potential customers to entice them into a premises (probably from Low German sprook, “a story, fiction, tale, or false idea”). That might have been the meaning originally – a spruiker would stand outside something disreputable, like a strip show – but these days it means to push your product in a pretty unsubtle way (does that remind you of anyone on the political stage?) It has a sleazy feel to it; an estate agent might spruik a property but you’d be rather insulted if someone said you were spruiking your claims to a job. It even sounds sleazy, doesn’t it?
Definitely a word for the times.