Sunday, January 18, 2015

Quote for the Day: W C Fields

"If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit."

- W C Fields, 1880-1946)
American comedian, actor, juggler and writer.

By the way:

"Bull", meaning nonsense, dates from the 17th century, while the term "bullshit" has been used as early as 1915 in American slang, and came into popular usage only during World War II. The word "bull" itself may have derived from the Old French boul meaning "fraud, deceit". The term "horseshit" is a near synonym. The South African English equivalent is "bull dust". Few corresponding terms exist in other languages; one prominent example, however, is German Bockmist, literally "billy-goat shit".

According to the lexicographer Eric Partridge, the term was popularised by the Australian and New Zealand troops from about 1916 arriving at the front during World War I. Partridge claims that the British commanding officers' placed emphasis on bull; that is, attention to appearances, even when it was a hindrance to waging war. The foreign Diggers allegedly ridiculed the British by calling it bullshit.

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