a slur upon the name of Thompson

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Mon Apr 6 11:23:10 UTC 2009

Quoting "Douglas G. Wilson" <douglas at NB.NET>:

> 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

Headline: "John Thompson's News"; Article Type: News/Opinion
Paper: Republican Advocate; Date: 01-21-1803, Friday; Volume: I; Issue:
8; Page:
[2]; col. 3. Location: Fredericktown, Maryland [America's Historical

"John Thompson's News"
So notorious has the little federal paper here become for _fibbing_, that
whenever the Boys about town express their belief that any thing is
_not true_,
they say it is "_John Thompson's News_," thereby intimating, that there is no
more reliance to be placed upon it, than upon the information generally
contained in the newspaper printed by Mr. Thompson.

Stephen Goranson

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

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