Coiner of "gobbledygook"?

Shapiro, Fred Fred.Shapiro at YALE.EDU
Sat Sep 15 19:02:32 UTC 2007

Where did the Clare Boothe Luce theory come from?  This coinage has always been associated with Maverick.  Note that I have previously posted a slight antedating, from March 1944, which attributes it to Maverick.

Fred Shapiro

From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Joel S. Berson [Berson at ATT.NET]
Sent: Saturday, September 15, 2007 2:35 PM
Subject: Coiner of "gobbledygook"?

Did Clare Boothe Luce coin "gobbledygook", or, as the OED2's earliest
citations suggest, did Maury Maverick?

1944 Amer. N. & Q. Apr. 9/1 Gobbledygook talk: Maury Maverick's name
for the long high-sounding words of Washington's red-tape
language.   1944 M. Maverick in N.Y. Times Mag. 21 May 11/1 Just
before Pearl Harbor, I+got my baptism under 'gobbledygook'+its
definition: talk or writing which is long, pompous, vague, involved,
usually with Latinized words. It is also talk or writing which is merely long.


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