Etymology of the Day: Strategery


My incidental use of the George Bushism “strategery” in a post this morning sparked a Twitter exchange which produced an interesting factlet: George Bush didn’t invent the word. Here it is in an 1845 short story by Mark Lemon, the founder of Punch, titled “Never Trust to Outward Appearances”:

The particular strategery spoken of here involves one Caleb Botts, who was negotiating to marry away his daughter Fanny for his own benefit, but eventually gets outsmarted. I just thought you’d all like to know.

UPDATE: Sorry. I’m reminded in comments that “strategery” was invented by Will Farrell in an SNL spoof of George Bush. As happens so often, fiction replaces reality in our memories.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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