[lit-ideas] The Song of the Turkey (Was: Gobbledygook)

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 27 Jun 2004 08:31:10 EDT

Andreas Ramos reports:
>>>"googly", "spam", and "gobbledegook" have been 
>>>voted among the most untranslatable 
>>>words in  the English language.
Eric Yost is puzzled:
>>Gobbledegook is "quatsch" in German isn't it? 
>>Surely many languages have their quatsch?  

Peter Junger corrects: 
>What you are saying is Quatsch; 
>``goobldegook'' is ``Kauderwelsch.''
Interestingly, the spelling in the OED2 entry is "gobbledYgook",  onomatopeic 
for the song of the _meleagris gallopavo_. Below.
J. L. 
From the OED
"gobbledygock", orig. U.S.  Also gobbledegook. [Repr. a turkey-cock's  
Official, professional, or pretentious verbiage or  jargon. 

1944 Amer. N. & Q.  Apr. 9/1 
Gobbledygook: Maury  Maverick's name for the long high-sounding words of 
Washington's red-tape  language. 
1944 M. MAVERICK in N.Y. Times Mag. 21 May 11/1 
Just before Pearl  Harbor, I..got my baptism under â??gobbledygookâ??..its 
definition: talk or writing  which is long, pompous, vague, involved, usually 
Latinized words. It is  also talk or writing which is merely long. 
1945  Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News 7 Aug. 4/3 
The explanations  sound like gobbledegook to me. 
1947 Time 7 July 7/1 The Veterans  Administration translated its bureaucratic 
1950 â??S. RANSOMEâ?? Deadly Miss Ashley ii. 16 It now  seemed a tricked-up 
system of gobbledegook wherein justice had foundered. 
1951 WODEHOUSE Old Reliable vii. 94 You  insult my intelligence by trying to 
put gobbledy-gook like that over me. 
1959 M. DOLINSKY There is no Silence i. 5, I had been subjected to too much 
psychiatric gobbledygook. 
1968 M. BLACK  Labyrinth of Lang. vi. 124  Jargon (or â??gobbledygookâ??, to 
the more expressive term).


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