"Borked" vs. "Miered"

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Fri Oct 28 03:23:36 UTC 2005


Some get 'Borked,' Others Get 'Miered'
By NAHAL TOOSI Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK Oct 27, 2005 — Is "miered" the new "borked"? Robert Bork's failed
nomination to the Supreme Court in 1987 spawned the verb "borked," defined
loosely as getting rejected in an unseemly, even unfair, manner.

Now there is talk online about whether Harriet Miers' withdrawal of her
nomination to the high court will give rise to the term "miered."

While liberals led to the opposition to Bork, it was conservatives who
brought down Miers' nomination.

A contributor to The Reform Club, a right-leaning blog, wrote that to get
"borked" was "to be unscrupulously torpedoed by an opponent," while to get
"miered" was to be "unscrupulously torpedoed by an ally."

S.T. Karnick, co-editor of The Reform Club, elaborated.

"If you have a president who is willing to instigate a big controversy,
the prospect of being `borked' will be the major possibility," he said.
"But if you have a president who is always trying to get consensus, then
it's much more likely that nominees will get `miered.'"

On The National Review Online, a conservative site, a contributor
suggested that "to mier" means "to put your own allies in the most
untenable position possible based upon exceptionally bad decision-making."

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