a slur upon the name of Thompson

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Sun Apr 5 22:06:25 UTC 2009

Searching for <<Thompson's news>> at G-Books:

1852: <<"Molly," said her mistress, smiling, "you are a good hand at
telling us John Thompson's news; that is, anything we know ourselves.">>

1855: <<We promised in our last number an extended review of this work;
but its large circulation, and the copious extracts which have been made
from its pages in the newspapers of the day, renders this not only
unnecessary, but would make us amenable to the charge of obtruding
'JOHNNY THOMPSON'S news' upon the public.>>

1859: <<'JOHNNY THOMPSON'S news!'>>

1869: <<"'You cannot say,' and 'the leading incidents are clear and
simple,' and 'the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth,'
and -- and the old critical jargon, John Thompson's news. ....">>

1873: <<IT is, perhaps, a genuine piece of Thompson's news to inform the
public, especially that portion of it that reads the CATHOLIC RECORD,
that there was lately held in this country the sixth penodical
convention of religious nondescripts known as the Evangelical Alliance.>>

1879: <<Unless, as is very improbable, some distinct new therapeusis is
reached, clinical discussions of the fever must partake of the nature of
John Thompson's news.>>

1918: <<yet, as Dr. C. G. Jung has pointed out, it might be well even
for psychoanalysts to read what has been said earlier in English and in
French on these subjects. If this suggestion were followed we would
perhaps hear that a large part of the Freudian discovery is "Johnny
Thompson's news.">>

So "[John[ny]] Thompson's news" seems to mean "old news".

Not in my slang dictionaries!

It can also be found as "[John] Thomson's news", I think.

It will take some work to identify the original "John Thom[p]son", maybe!

-- Doug Wilson

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

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