"banana oil" = nonsense, insincere talk, 1952

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sat Jun 28 00:30:46 UTC 2008

OED Draft Revision Sept 2007 has "banana oil" = nonsense, insincere
talk from 1927 and 1960 (thus from no-one besides Wodehouse), and no
other quotations.

I think I heard it in "Singin' in the Rain", in the early scene just
after Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) thanks an audience for its favorable
reception of his latest movie, and Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen) presumes
that the studio-concocted romance between her and Don is real.  Don
says something like "Don't believe all the banana oil you hear."


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

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