soapbox

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See also: soap box

English[edit]

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Particularly: "old-timey soap crate"
A person expresses his opinion.

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

soap +‎ box. The figurative use of the word derives from the fact that soap products in the US used to be commonly transported to stores in large wooden boxes. It used to be common for individuals to give impromptu rally speeches to their neighbors by finding something to stand on like a soapbox.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈsəʊpbɒks/
  • (file)

Noun[edit]

soapbox (plural soapboxes)

  1. (literally) A crate for packing soap.
  2. (figuratively) Any physical or media platform which gives prominence to the person on it and the views they espouse.
    The madman obtained a soapbox which he stood on at the corner of Broadway and Wall street, to shout out his prophesy of the end of the world.
    • 1905, Upton Sinclair, chapter XXV, in The Jungle, New York, N.Y.: Doubleday, Page & Company, published 26 February 1906, OCLC 1150866071:
      The one image which the word “Socialist” brought to Jurgis was of poor little Tamoszius Kuszleika, who had called himself one, and would go out with a couple of other men and a soap-box, and shout himself hoarse on a street corner Saturday nights.
    • 2013, Robert F. Ely, Candidate for President →ISBN, page 25
      Bernhard's last appearance on a late-night talk show was a handy soapbox to expound on his political message of patriotism, nationalism, and populism.
  3. (figuratively) A talk about one's pet topic (or the topic itself), especially when only tangentially relevant to an ongoing discussion.
    He's been on his soapbox all day about the new football coach.
  4. A soapbox car.

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

soapbox (third-person singular simple present soapboxes, present participle soapboxing, simple past and past participle soapboxed)

  1. To give a speech from (or as if from) a soapbox.
    • 2011, Phil Wolfson, Noe: A Father-Son Song of Love, Life, Illness, and Death, North Atlantic Books, →ISBN:
      He soapboxed for whales and pressed us to write petitions and demonstrate with him—he as the leader, we as followers.
    • 2015, Marc Matera, Black London: The Imperial Metropolis and Decolonization in the Twentieth Century, University of California Press, →ISBN, page 80:
      [] and various members soapboxed in Hyde Park on Sunday.