Word of the Day : July 16, 2013


noun boob-wah-ZEE


: the general public regarded as consisting of boobs

Did You Know?

Journalist and critic H. L. Mencken is often credited with coining "booboisie," a blend of "boob," as it refers to someone who cares too much about things and too little about ideas and art, and "bourgeoisie," that French-origin term for the middle class. Mencken may have indeed coined the word, but it seems likely that he wasn't the word's only inventor. According to the 2006 Yale Book of Quotations, Mencken was quoted using "booboisie" in an August 1922 issue of The Dial before it appeared in any of his writings. But a February 22, 1922 Washington Post article opens with the following line: "A plot to mulct the 'booboisie' which might have been invented by an author of get-rich-quick fiction …." The booboisie, of course, couldn't care less.


"'Elitism' was always the sneer of the booboisie against opera…." - From an article by Stephanie Von Buchau in Opera News, July 1998

"[Simon] Doonan's silliness is a delight. This is not a rote throwback to the 'Queer Eye for the Straight Guy' advice of yore. There's no dumbing down for the booboisie." - From a book review by Christopher Muther in the Boston Globe, January 7, 2012

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