Every Christmas my Mother-in-law buys me a desk calendar as a gift. These thick little calendars have ranged from “Far Side” comics to trivia to “The Onion” excerpts. The last one she purchased was a “word of the day” calendar. I like it because it explains the origin of these odd and never before heard of words on the back of each sheet. Yesterday’s word was ROORBACK:
‘rur-,bak n : a defamatory falsehood published for political effect
On the reverse side was the following explanation:
Did You Know?
In the midst of the 1844 presidential campaign between James K. Polk and Henry Clay, a letter was published in a newspaper in Ithaca, New York, claiming that a reputable witness – one Baron Roorback – had seen Polk purchase and brand 43 slaves. The letter caused an uproar that the whole thing was a hoax perpetrated by the opposing party. The incident proved a political boomerang; Polk won the election and the name “roorback” became a byword for political dirty tricks.
Pretty interesting huh? Just think, a few decades from now an individual who pre-emptively attacks others based on questionable evidence will be referred to as a “Bush!”
Example in a sentence:
“Man, you shouldn’t have ‘Bushed‘ your wife about having an affair… she was only meeting her sister for lunch every week not some mystery man! What the ‘Cheney‘ were you thinking?”