Definition of jawboning
: the use of public appeals (as by a president) to influence the actions especially of business and labor leaders; broadly : the use of spoken persuasion
jawboning was our Word of the Day on 10/22/2010. Hear the podcast!
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Did You Know?
In the late 1800s, the noun jawbone meant "credit" (as in his money's gone, so he lives on jawbone), which was probably influenced by the practice of coaxing others to lend money by promising to pay it back. By the mid-1960s the verb to jawbone, meaning "to talk about to gain some end," was appearing regularly in the media. The noun jawboning made its print debut at the end of that decade, in reference to rhetorical practices that influenced the actions of the wealthy and powerful. All of these uses were likely influenced by the verb jaw, which has long been used with the meanings "to talk" or "to scold."
First Known Use of jawboning
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