$64,000 question

Gerald Cohen gcohen at UMR.EDU
Wed May 9 18:29:59 UTC 2007

Thanks for all the responses. For the sake of completeness, my colleague who
asked me about the expression was wondering if an event in the 1870s might
have triggered the connection of "$64" with "question."  Judging from the
ads-l responses thus far, this seems excluded, but still, here's the message
I received yesterday:

"Thanks.  The reason I ask is that I found a suggestive reference to it in a
description of James Blaine, perpetual presidential candidate, in the 1870s.
Blaine had been involved in the Credit Mobiliare scandal and the gist was
would questions about his $64,000 share prevent him from becoming

Gerald Cohen

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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