Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jan 16 02:30:15 UTC 2013

In 2005, the OED added "-burger" entry that incorporates, among other
things, "nothingburger". There are a couple of problems with that entry.
First, there are no examples and that can be easily rectified (see
below). Second, the definition leaves quite a bit to be desired:

> Forming nouns denoting persons characterized by the initial element.

This might pass for "cheerfulburger" and "psychoburger", but not for
"nothingburger", as the examples illustrate.
> And the whole Hagel nomination thing turned out to be a triple,
> mustard ketchup tomato lettuce and bacon nothingburger.
> Opponents Of Filibuster Reform Offer Nothingburger Proposal
> MICHAEL LEDEEN: Obama’s Iran October Surprise Nothingburger
> Petraeus testimony: nothingburger with cheese
> With just ten days left until Election Day, campaign spox Jen Psaki
> introduced the "nothing burger" while gaggling with reporters aboard
> Air Force One as the President, an avowed cheeseburger lover, headed
> to a campaign rally in New Hampshire.
> Occupy protests in Canada and the birth of the "nothing burger"

Barry Popik has addressed the issue in the past (December 22, 2010) and
his definition is a bit more inclusive:
> A "nothing burger" (or "nothingburger") is a person who is a
> non-entity, or an idea that is without merit, or anything that's a lot
> of nothing. A "nothing burger" is a burger (such as a hamburger)
> without the burger.

Barry found some early citations (before 1960) that appear to have
"person" as the target. Vast majority of the more recent entries do not
refer to a person. Most usually describe a "non-scandal" or a supposedly
a sensational revelations that, on closer inspection, does not live up
to expectations. This seems to contradict both the definition and the
etymology note that claims the formation to be of a more recent vintage:

> Formations are found from the early 1980s (apparently earliest in
> mouseburger n.); J. E. Lighter /Hist. Dict. Amer. Slang/ (1994–) gives
> a number of other formations, including /cheerfulburger/,
> /nothingburger/, and /psychoburger/.


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