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H.L. Mencken (1880–1956). The American Language. 1921.

Page 191

pork for unnecessary and dishonest appropriations of public money, joint for illegal liquor-house, tenderloin for gay and dubious neighborhood. 57 Many of these, and of the new compounds with them, belong to the vocabulary of disparagement, e. g., bone-head, skunk, bug, jay, lobster, boob, mutt, gas (empty talk), geezer, piker, baggage-smasher, hash-slinger, clock-watcher, four-flusher, coffin-nail, chin-music, batty and one-horse. Here an essential character of the American shows itself: his tendency to combat the disagreeable with irony, to heap ridicule upon what he is suspicious of or doesn’t understand. 58
  The rapidity with which new verbs are made in the United States is really quite amazing. Two days after the first regulations of the Food Administration were announced, to hooverize appeared spontaneously in scores of newspapers, and a week later it was employed without any visible sense of its novelty in the debates of Congress and had taken on a respectability equal to that of to bryanize, to fletcherize and to oslerize. To electrocute appeared inevitably in the first public discussion of capital punishment by electricity; to taxi came in with the first taxicabs; to commute no doubt accompanied the first commutation ticket; to insurge attended the birth of the Progressive balderdash. Of late the old affix -ize, once fecund of such monsters as to funeralize, has come into favor again, and I note, among its other products, to belgiumize, to vacationize, to picturize, to scenarioize, to cohanize, 59 to citizenize and to institutionalize. But often the noun or adjective is used in its original form, without any attempt at explanatory inflection. Thus, I have encountered