"broderick a confession"

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Fri Jan 22 19:15:11 UTC 2010

On Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 1:54 PM, Towse <my.cache at gmail.com> wrote:
> I was reading a mystery short story last night and came across the
> phrase "brodericked a confession" but can't find hide nor hair of
> anything on the Web that explains the origin of "to broderick."
> I'm assuming Broderick was expert at forcing confessions from suspects, but ...

Johnny Broderick, NYC police detective.

"He was famous from the beginning for never bothering with a revolver
or a nightstick. He used his fists, huge lethal pistons that could
beat a man senseless in half a heartbeat. To 'get brodericked' was
recognized Broadwayese; it meant to be felled by a single mighty

--Ben Zimmer

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

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