Potemkin village


Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

Potemkin village

n.
Something that appears elaborate and impressive but in actual fact lacks substance: "the Potemkin village of this country's borrowed prosperity" (Lewis H. Lapham).

[After Grigori Aleksandrovich Potemkinwho is said to have had elaborate fake villages constructed for Catherine the Great's tours of Ukraine and Crimea.]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Potemkin village - something that seems impressive but in fact lacks substance
fake, sham, postiche - something that is a counterfeit; not what it seems to be
Translations
Potemkinsches Dorf
potemkindorp
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
I quickly grew tired of hearing the same conversation played on a very short loop, which reinforced the feeling that was I was standing in a Potemkin village. (Oh, the number of times I heard a woman, bantering with someone else on the radio, utter her signature line, "Your brain is bananas!")
Yes, indeed, the churchmen were artifacts of a "Soviet Potemkin Village" that was on display to illustrate to the West "religious freedom" under the Soviet regime.
So what if the example I looked up to turned out to be a Potemkin village? We can model ourselves around the possibility of a perfect democracy, reality be damned, we're still growing, still finding our feet.
Lhasa, the capital, is a Potemkin Village, a tourist area with great antique shops and colourful monks in saffron robes, occasional pilgrims on their knees, white scarves and yak butter tea.
I have now lived in Albemarle County for 21 years, I partake quietly in civic life, and I can tell you that only in the eyes of extremists and radicals are this city and this county the kind of reverse Potemkin Village opportunists have constructed in synchrony with ideologues who would tear apart the American fabric for the purpose of recasting a nation they cannot abide.
Shekhovtsov's book portrays Russia's putative democracy as a Potemkin village going through the formalities of elections, a parliament, mass media, and a civil society, all of which have been hollowed out by the siloviki's permanent hold on power.
(6.) The New START Working Group, "New START: Potemkin Village Verification," Heritage Foundation, 24 June 2010, http://www.heritage.org/arms-control/report/new-start-potemkin-village-verification.
(4.) See, e.g., Victor Brudney, The Independent Directoi--Heavenly City or Potemkin Village?, 95 HARV.
Not every Bangladeshi author is a fan of the fest, of course, and there were complaints that it was a "fig leaf for a one-party state." Some commenters on twitterre-iterated the 2013 critique that it was " The Potemkin Village of the Secular Liberal Elite in Bangladesh ." Certainly, the festival was a secular event, and certainly literary festivals are generally elite, but having V.S.
that Trump had built a "Potemkin village." Atlantic City never quite recovered, but Trump came out fine.
As the Cinecitta project suggests, we live in a world of spectacle; it's not only the art world that's a Potemkin village. And, of course, not everyone fits into Kalmar's apartment, or wants to.
To put the foregoing into perspective, let's quote an online commenter on the slate of presidential candidates: "Now we see the whole menagerie is one big Potemkin village."