"Words and Phrases Coined or Popularized by America's Presidents"

Jan 11, 2013

Talk about the influential use of language.... Did you know that "bloviate," "lunatic fringe," "iffy," "military-industrial complex," "Anglophobia," "public relations," and "ottoman" are all terms or phrases that have been either coined or popularized by various U.S. Presidents over the years? Same goes for "pedicure," "personal shopper," "normalcy," "booze," "tin can," and "the founding fathers." On this edition of ST, we welcome the noted author and lexicographer Paul Dickson, who's written more than 40 books on a wide variety of topics (among them words, history, sports, ice cream, and warfare). Dickson joins us by phone to chat about his newest volume, "Words from the White House: Words and Phrases Coined or Popularized by America's Presidents." Part history, part socio-cultural study, and part dictionary, this fun-to-read book, per Kirkus Reviews, offers "a compendious, entertaining look at our nation's leaders through words and turns of phrase."