Printable Version
Pronunciation: slo-gên Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. A motto expressing an opinion or position, repeated for effect. 2. The battle cry of a Scottish clan.

Notes: "The battle cry of a Scottish clan?" I hear you asking. Wait for Word History. A person known for speaking in slogans is a sloganeer, a word often heard in countries with congresses or parliaments. Terms like "tax-and-spend Democrats" and "tax burden" are common slogans bandied about Washington, DC. "Better living through chemistry" was long the commercial slogan of the DuPont Corporation; now it is simply "The Miracles of Science".

In Play: Commercial slogans are intended to improve the image of a company's brand. The slogan for American Express credit cards is, "Don't leave home without it." IBM's slogan is, "I think, therefore IBM." But slogans abound at all levels and in all walks of life: "Maude Lynn Dresser's slogan should be: 'I will wear anything I can get into!'"

Word History: Today's Good Word is another gift of Scotland. It began there as Scots English slogorne "battle cry", reduced from Gaelic sluagh-ghairm, a compound composed of sluagh "multitude, slue" + ghairm "shout". (Gaelic is the language originally spoken by the Scots, Irish, Manx, and Welsh.) The Irish dropped the GH on this word and the resultant slau become slue (or slew) in the US, as in a whole slue of people were at the party. (I can think of a whole slue of slogans, but only 'thank you' seems to fit our debt to Paul of Wales, a toiler in the 18th century vineyard, for suggesting today's Good Word.)

Dr. Goodword,

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