Phoney (Winchell, 1933)

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Sat Dec 29 23:53:31 UTC 2001

   From Walter Winchell´s column in the HAVANA EVENING TELEGRAM.

12 July 1933, pg. 2, col. 3:
   That Woolcott says he would like to know the origin of the word "phoney."  Well, no dictionary is certain, either.  The first time we heard it was in 1916, long before Al Smith helped popularize "baloney."  In 1916 Broadwayites would say: "That's a lotta phoney'baloney!"

21 September 1933, pg. 2, col. 3:
   "Dear Winchell," writes F. G. Foster of Milwaukee, "not long ago you and Alexander Woolcott wanted to know the origin of 'phoney.'  The word was originally 'Forney,' the name of an Eastern manufacturer of cheap jewelry.
   "When I was a kid in New York and Philadelphia and those spurious gem merchants made the rounds showing a piece of junk--we always said: 'Aw, that's a Forney!'  Our snide way of saying it was cheap, false and counterfeit."

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