Wednesday Word for September 30, 2020

Today’s word comes from a random word generator.

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Today’s Word

Part of Speech

noun

Definition

  1. A defamatory forgery or falsehood published for purposes of political intrigue.
  2. A false and more or less damaging report circulated for political effect, usually about a candidate seeking an office.
  3. A fictitious story published for political effect; a “campaign lie.”

History

If you think dirty politics are new, think again. In the midst of the 1844 presidential campaign between James K. Polk and Henry Clay, a letter was published in a newspaper in Ithaca, New York, claiming that a reputable witness (one Baron von Roorback) had, while traveling in Tennessee, come across 43 slaves owned by Polk and branded with his initials. The letter caused an uproar that threatened to derail Polk’s campaign until it was discovered that the whole thing was a hoax supposedly perpetrated by the opposing party. Baron von Roorback didn’t even exist. The incident proved a political boomerang; Polk won the election and the name “roorback” became a byword for political dirty tricks.

roorback

Synonyms

No known synonyms.

Antonyms

No known antonyms.

Usage and Examples

Here are a couple of examples:

  • Jack Duncan knew the harm the information would cause by such a roorback on the eve of the election.
  • As the election approached, rumors that Talbot was planning a roorback began to surface.

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