Origins of the term “brinkmanship” (aka “brinksmanship”)…

I recently noticed a headline for an Associated Press story about North Korea that was interesting from a word and quotation history perspective. It said:      “North Korean missile tests signal return to brinkmanship.” The term brinkmanship was coined in 1956 during the height of the Cold War, when the U.S. was facing a potential … Read more

“J’Accuse!” (“I Accuse!”)

On January 13, 1898, the front page of the French newspaper L’Aurore featured a scathing letter about the “Dreyfus Affair” written by popular author Émile Zola and addressed to the President of the French Republic, Félix Faure. The letter was published under huge headlines that said:                J’Accuse…!       LETTRE AU PRÉSIDENT DE LA RÉPUBLIQUE. … Read more

“We don’t need no stinking badges” — origins, uses & variations…

THE ORIGINAL 1948 MOVIE LINES: “Badges? We ain’t got no badges! We don’t need no badges! I don’t have to show you any stinking badges!”         Alfonso Bedoya, as the Mexican bandit “Gold Hat”        In the classic film The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, which was released in the U.S. on January 7, 1948                       … Read more

Dr. Mardy Grothe’s new website

On January 1, 2022, Dr. Mardy Grothe launched an amazing new online quotation website — As Grothe explains on the site’s home page, is “the first website devoted exclusively to the celebration of great opening lines in world literature.” It’s already the world’s largest online database of literary history’s greatest opening words, and … Read more