Words from the White House by Paul Dickson
Words and Phrases Coined or Popularized by America's Presidents

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Paul Dickson, a noted author, commentator and lexicographer, warms up the audience by opening this entertaining and informative book with a list of 44 presidential firsts.
-Washington Times

Synopsis

The founding fathers (a term created by Warren G. Harding for his "front porch campaign" of 1920) felt that coining words and creating new uses for old ones was part of their role in creating a new American culture and language, distinct from the proscriptive King's English. Noah Webster called the creation of such Americanisms "acts of defiance," along with such radical ideas as universal literacy and public libraries. Ever since, American presidents have enriched our vocabulary with words, phrases, and concepts that weve put to general use.

Acclaimed lexicographer Paul Dickson has compiled the first collection of new words and lexical curiosities originating on Pennsylvania Avenue. Organized chronologically, each entry contains the definition, etymology, and a brief essay placing the word or phrase in its cultural context. From Washington (tin can) and Jefferson (who alone gets credit for some one hundred coinages, including belittle and the expression holding the bag), to Lincoln (relocate) and Teddy Roosevelt (bully pulpit), to Ike (mulligan) and Obama (Snowmageddon), they collectively provide an illuminating tour of more than two centuries of our history.

?Bloviate ... lunatic fringe ... iffy ... military industrial complex ... Anglophobia ... kitchen cabinet ... public relations ... ottoman ... pedicure ... point well taken ... personal shopper ... normalcy
 

About Paul Dickson

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Paul Dickson is the author of several classic baseball books, including The Dickson Baseball Dictionary, The Unwritten Rules of Baseball, The Hidden Language of Baseball, and The Joy of Keeping Score. He is also the author of the seminal narrative history Sputnik: The Shock of the Century and the coauthor of the acclaimed The Bonus Army: An American Epic. He lives in Garrett Park, Maryland.
 
Published January 8, 2013 by Walker Books. 209 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Words from the White House
All: 3 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Good
on Dec 11 2012

A compendious, entertaining look at our nation’s leaders through words and turns of phrase.

Read Full Review of Words from the White House: W... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Washington Times

Good
on Jan 29 2013

Paul Dickson, a noted author, commentator and lexicographer, warms up the audience by opening this entertaining and informative book with a list of 44 presidential firsts.

Read Full Review of Words from the White House: W... | See more reviews from Washington Times

Booklist Online

Good
Reviewed by Jay Freeman on Feb 19 2013

This is an informative and often amusing work that helps us understand why we say some of the things we say.

Read Full Review of Words from the White House: W...

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