If someone gives you flack about wearing shorts in the winter, tell them to chill out. Flack is a criticism. Flack also refers to anti-aircraft guns, and then sometimes it’s spelled flak.
Flack as a criticism comes from the military sense, as it feels like an attack. A flack (or flak) jacket will protect your body from projectiles, but it doesn’t protect you from insults. Flack is also a word for a promoter. If you publish a book, you’ll need to flack — or promote it — yourself or hire a professional flack who will convince everyone to buy it. The German root is Fliegerabwehrkanone, "aviator-defense gun."
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