"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Monday, 21 December 2009


Malarkey is empty rhetoric or insincere or exaggerated talk; nonsense; rubbish; or silliness.

I had anticipated that this would be a word of some long-standing origin and was amazed when I looked it up in my two-volume Shorter Oxford of 1983 that the word was not in it. Malarkey, it seems, is slang. I wonder if the latest Oxford Dictionary has accepted it into 'proper' English yet?

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