Two Questions for Journalist

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Dec 14 18:58:32 UTC 2012

On Dec 14, 2012, at 1:28 PM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:

> Gizmo.
> Vague suggestions have been offered, though not accepted, for "malarkey"
> and "poppycock."

I thought the latter was < Dutch _pappekak_ 'soft shit' or something like it.

Aha, I see now that the OED distinguishes _pappekak_ ("frequently glossed as ‘excrement as soft as porridge’") from _poppekak_, lit. ‘doll's excrement’ (apparently only in the phrase _zo fijn als gemalen poppekak_ showing excessive religious zeal, lit. ‘as fine as powdered doll's excrement’).  Very poetic, I must say, but evidently not definitive either way.


The American Dialect Society -

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