[Ads-l] Useful Idiots, Koristne Budale, Useful Innocents, Useful Fools

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Fri Aug 23 09:59:30 UTC 2019

The Quote Investigator website now has an entry about "Useful Idiot".
Feedback welcome.

In the article the first exact match in English for "useful idiot" in
the desired sense is dated April 6, 1948. This is a bit before the New
York Times article that is commonly cited.

There was a thread about this topic back in June 2014.

Within the thread I claimed that I sent a message about "useful idiot"
to the ADS list back in 2010 when I was a neophyte. Upon reviewing my
messages I found that this claim was inaccurate. Instead, I sent a
private message to Barry Popik in 2010 because he had an entry on the

[Begin acknowledgement for QI article]
Great thanks to David Taylor and two anonymous people whose inquiries
led QI to formulate this question and perform this exploration. Thanks
to previous researchers including Paul F. Boller Jr., John George,
Barry Popik, Fred Shapiro, Nigel Rees, Ralph Keyes, and William
Safire. Further thanks to the Congressional Research Service and the
volunteer editors of Wikipedia.
[End acknowledgement]


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

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