Friday, May 19, 2017

Word of the day: nut job

The Oxford English Dictionary has it:

slang (orig. U.S.).

A mad or crazy person; (also, occas.) a violent person. Cf. NUTCASE n.
The first citation is from 1975: “He was led and followed by nut jobs, him the biggest of all for being there.” The OED also notes a dictionary of slang that records a New York University student using the term in 1972. Was it Donald Trump? No. Trump graduated from the Wharton School in 1968. Trump did not invent nut job.

This post is prompted by an extraordinary New York Times headline: “Trump Told Russians That Firing ‘Nut Job’ Comey Eased Pressure From Investigation.” Let’s see how that logic works out. Perhaps nut job will be the 2017 word of the year. And it won’t be applying to Comey.

[The OED spells it as two words: nut job. Merriam-Webster spells it as one. Google’s Ngram Viewer shows nut job outnumbering nutjob 2.8:1 (2008). Nut job is an open compound word; nutjob, a closed compound.]

comments: 4

Pete said...

On the contrary, I'm guessing that the Comey firing will someday be seen as the major turning point in Donald's eventual impeachment. And a warning to all presidents: never, ever piss off the intelligence community.

Michael Leddy said...

We’re in agreement: I don’t think that firing Comey will ease anything. And the irony of Donald Trump calling someone a “nut job” will linger long in the air.

Fresca said...

Huh, I would have guessed "nut job" was far older--like "To have a screw loose" is recorded from 1810.

Uh-oh, now I have two good Ns for the next ABC book: Nixonian and Nut Job...
Maybe the latter could go under J: Job, Nut.

Michael Leddy said...

I thought much older too. But the older items in Google Books are about folks cracking walnuts and working on machinery.