"vulture capitalist" -- WOTY in diapers at the start of the new year?

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jan 13 16:06:21 UTC 2012

Kudos to the OED team. Below is a citation in 1972 showing "vulture
capitalists" derived from "venture capitalists" via wordplay. The
phrase "vulture capitalist" actually has a much longer history, but
earlier instances may not fit the modern OED definition.

Cite: 1972 January 9, Boston Globe, The big job: conversion by Bruce
Davidson, Start Page B-1, Quote Page B-4, Boston, Massachusetts.
[Begin excerpt]
No wonder, perhaps, that venture capitalists are known in some
quarters as vulture capitalists.
[End excerpt]

Here are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Cite: 1837 November 18, Columbian Register, The whigs of New York,
Page 3, Column 3, New Haven, Connecticut (GenealogyBank)
[Begin excerpt]
The usury laws should not be repealed, so us to suffer the vulture
capitalists and shavers to devour business men of small means at one
repast. The usury enactments should he more severe.
[End excerpt]

Cite: 1885 July, Progress, Mr. Chamberlain and Socialism by Thomas
Maguire, Start Page 316, Quote Page 318, Column 2, Progressive
Publishing Co., London. (Google Books full view)
[Begin excerpt]
For do we not find everywhere throughout our civilisation the hundred
proletarian personalities degraded to brute level, divested of all
individuality that the one vulture-capitalist, personality, may air an
illegitimate individuality, as baneful as it is accursed?
[End excerpt]

Cite: 1914 December 26, Puck, The Unemployment Problem, Page 7, New
York. (ProQuest)
[Begin excerpt]
But if you should meet any one of these twenty-nine, he will tell you
with a droop of the lower lip, that times are terrible; that the
vulture capitalist is tearing the vitals from the laboring man; that
Wilson never should have been elected; and that foreigners must be
kept out of the country
[End excerpt]

Cite: 1959 September 7, Time, INDONESIA: Drastic Medicine, Time Inc.,
New York. (Online Time archive; Accessed 2012 January 13)
[Begin excerpt]
All this was done to the accompaniment of denunciations by Sukarno of
"vulture capitalists." Added he: "Whoever scoops up wealth at the
expense of the public, whoever disrupts the public economy, will be
arrested, will be taken to court, will be punished severely, and if
necessary will be sentenced to death."
[End excerpt]

Cite: 1962 May, The Journal of Asian Studies, Some
Social-Anthropological Obervations on Gotong Rojong Practices in Two
Villages of Central Java. by Koentjaraningrat; Structural Changes in
Javanese Society: The Village Sphere. by D. H. Burger; Living
Conditions of Plantation Workers and Peasants on Java in 1939-1940. ;
Some Factors Related to Autonomy and Dependence in Twelve Javanese
Villages by Barbara Dohrenwend Review by: Clifford Geertz Volume 21,
Number 3, Start Page 413, Quote Page 414, Published by: Association
for Asian Studies (JSTOR)
[Begin excerpt]
In introducing his "Conception" of "Guided Democracy" in  1957,
President Sukarno attacked as alien and un-Indonesian the "free-fight
Liberalism" of "vulture capitalism,"  which had apparently
characterized the Republic thus far, saying that it should be replaced
by a more properly indigenous and morally superior spirit: Gotong
[End excerpt]

Typos and other errors are possible. Please double-check before use.
Best Garson

On Fri, Jan 13, 2012 at 8:59 AM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      Re: "vulture capitalist" -- WOTY in diapers at the start of the
>              new year?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 1/12/2012 11:56 PM, Jesse Sheidlower wrote:
>>On Thu, Jan 12, 2012 at 11:19:44PM -0500, Joel S. Berson wrote:
>> > I say put "vulture capitalist" (AKA Mitt Romney) on the watch
>> list for WOTY.
>>Not that this inherently disqualifies something from WotY status, but
>>_vulture capitalist_ has been in OED since 2006, and we have a first
>>quote from 1978.
> While I'm embarrassed to say I hadn't thought to look, by "in
> diapers" I only meant that it was emerging like the infant "2012."
> Joel
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