Welcome to Beautiful and Useless Words, Part Two!
The first volume can be found here. It's just as big and just as unnecessary.
And now, on with the show.
a defamatory falsehood published for political effect
Degree of Usefulness:
About 500 roorbacks were posted to Facebook in the time it took you to read this sentence. Useful.
A number of words in English come from someone's name, and in most cases the name they come from is a real one. However, occasionally a fake name will sneak into an etymology, as is the case with roorback. The word comes from the fictitious Baron von Roorback, an invented person who served as the source of a particularly unpleasant rumor about presidential candidate James K. Polk in 1844 (that he had branded dozens of slaves with his initials). It is worth noting that our 11th president did in fact own dozens of slaves.