bipartisan 'partisan'

Geoffrey Nunberg nunberg at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Sat May 8 04:54:57 UTC 2004

>a Stanford Introductory Studies staff member who sometimes teaches
>writing reports to me that a fair number of his undergraduate students
>use "bipartisan" like "partisan" (with its negative connotations), but
>he had no actual citations to give me.  has anyone here run across this
>usage?  with citations?
>arnold (zwicky at

Interesting. A Google search on "bipartisan squabble" and variants
turns up about 40 hits, most of them suggesting this new meaning;
e.g., "I am interested in politics, but I am sick and tired of the
bipartisan squabbling and infighting that has brought the legislative
branch of the US government .."

Similarly, "bipartisan bickering" gets 175 hits, and "bipartisan
wrangling" gets 25, most again suggesing this sense:

"Blaming bipartisan bickering, Jeffords said the measure is not all
he had hoped for and vowed to continue the fight.

"The Senate's Judiciary Committee approved his nomination in June,
but bipartisan wrangling kept his confirmation by the entire Senate
at bay for over a month. .."

It makes sense, in a goofy way -- the bickering is between members of
two parties, after all.


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