The genesis of “the Almighty Dollar” – from Genesis to Washington Irving…

The word almighty, used in connection with God, appears 57 times in the King James Version of the Bible. Starting in the Book of Genesis, God is variously referred to as “the Almighty God,” “God Almighty” and, most often, simply as “the Almighty.” The English idiom “the almighty dollar,” which is commonly used to mock … Read more

“Don’t Bogart that joint, my friend…”

[Reposted by popular demand…] On June 24, 1968, ABC Records released the self-titled first album by The Fraternity of Man, a California-based rock band whose members included former Mothers of Invention guitarist Elliot Ingber and a young, 17-year-old singer and songwriter named Larry Wagner. The album wasn’t a big hit. But it was popular with … Read more

“How does it feel to be one of the beautiful people?”

The phrase “beautiful people” had been used prior to the 1960s. For example, in Oscar Wilde’s play An Ideal Husband, a social comedy first performed in 1895, one of the characters says at a gathering of high society partygoers: “I like looking at geniuses, and listening to beautiful people.” And, in 1941, William Saroyan titled … Read more

As American as apple pie, cherry pie – and violence…

Apple trees are not native to America. They originated in Central Asia and were grown in Asia and Europe long before European colonists brought them to North America. However, as explained in a post by the eminent word and phrase expert Barry Popik on his site, American-grown apples and American-style apple pies eventually became renowned … Read more