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MALARKEY

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MALARKEY

Postby Dr. Goodword » Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:41 am

• malarkey •

Pronunciation: mê-lah(r)-kee • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: Balderdash, blather, b.s., bunkum, claptrap, crap, drivel, garbage, horse pucky, humbug, idiocy, nonsense, piffle, poppycock, rigmarole, rubbish, trash, twaddle (feel free to add your favorite).

Notes: Judging from the long but still partial list of synonyms for today's word, it would seem that English speakers have a low tolerance for speech that doesn't make sense. We go out of our way to create nonsense words to express the notion of nonsense.

In Play: Although it is a good English word, this one is not a word you would use in formal writing. It is strictly for conversational use: "There is more malarkey in the philosophy department here than on Capitol Hill." Malarkey is all around us: "I haven't heard so much malarkey since Phil Anders tried to explain what he and his secretary were up to in the cloak room." That is another reason why we need so many words for it.

Word History: This word first emerged in the US in 1922 but no one knows where it came from. There is an Irish surname, Malarkey, but no one of that name seems to have been blessed with a greater gift of blarney than any other Irishman. Someone has suggested that it might be related to Greek malakos "soft," but this Good Word does not seem to be the concoction of someone versed in the classics. We will have to chalk it up as another mystery of the US linguistic mind.
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Postby Perry » Tue Jul 17, 2007 12:38 pm

Judging from the long but still partial list of synonyms for today's word, it would seem that English speakers have a low tolerance for speech that doesn't make sense. We go out of our way to create nonsense words to express the notion of nonsense.


A wonderful, but almost oxymoronic assertation.
"Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once. Lately it hasn't been working."
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Postby skinem » Tue Jul 17, 2007 5:03 pm

I had to go through an "anti-discrimination" workshop (also dubbed the "We Hate White Men" course) in which the instructor used "malarkey" as a politically-incorrect word in that it was ethnically based. :roll: Sounds like malarkey to me.

I guess now I would ask if they meant Irish or Greek people...
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Postby Bailey » Tue Jul 17, 2007 5:56 pm

Perry wrote:
Judging from the long but still partial list of synonyms for today's word, it would seem that English speakers have a low tolerance for speech that doesn't make sense. We go out of our way to create nonsense words to express the notion of nonsense.


A wonderful, but almost oxymoronic assertation.


NAW, we're just really good at recognizing cr!p when we see it. [just kidding]

mark now-don't-tell me you-didn't-just-laugh-out-loud Bailey

Today is the first day of the rest of your life, Make the most of it...
kb








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Postby Perry » Wed Jul 18, 2007 10:05 am

Here is an etymology of malarkey, that I just made up.

From my lark, i.e. my own special flight of fancy. As use of the noun became more wide spread, the first person possesive came to be ignored.
"Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once. Lately it hasn't been working."
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