Joe Biden spiked searches of the word “malarkey” on Wednesday night, according to trends monitored by Merriam-Webster.
During his speech to the Democratic National Convention, the Vice President roasted Donald Trump’s reach of the middle class, saying the candidate’s coining of the phrase “you’re fired” said a lot about him.
“Think about that. Think about everything you learned as a child, no matter where you were raised. How can there be pleasure in saying, ‘You’re fired?’ He’s trying to tell us he cares about the middle class?” he said. “Give me a break that’s a bunch of malarkey!”
Well I’m guilty as charged. I loved the word, knew exactly what it meant but wanted to see what the dictionary said about it. First it said “nonsense.” But then I found a great explanation even if incorrect from a cartoonist in the 1920s
“We can likely thank a cartoonist of Irish descent, Thomas Aloysius Dorgan (‘TAD’ for short), for popularizing the word. You might recall Dorgan’s name from previous discussions of hot dog … [he] helped to circulate some other words in the American lexicon, among them malarkey, hard-boiled, and kibitzer.
“When Dorgan began using the word, its spelling wasn’t settled. In a cartoon of his that appeared on Mar. 9, 1922, the word Milarkey was used as a fictitious place name. Two years later, on April 2, 1924, he used the word Malachy, apparently with its nonsense meaning (‘Malachy — You said it — I wouldn’t trust a lawyer no further than I could throw a case of Scotch’).”