blurb whore


blurb whore
n.
A writer who provides flattering comments about a book or movie in exchange for meals, travel, or some other perk.
Example Citation:
"If you're ever wondered who gives those glowing blurbs in the movie ads — "Battlefield Earth a sci-fi masterpiece," and so on — the answer is nobody. Newsweek magazine revealed that one David Manning of the Ridgefield Press was in fact a fraud cooked up by Sony Pictures. ... Why did they bother making up quotes when there are plenty of blurb-whores around to give even the worst piece of dreck a big thumb's up?"
— Neal Watson, et. al., "A look back a what was happenin' last week," The Edmonton Sun, June 10, 2001
Earliest Citation:
"Today, writers take it for granted that they must provide punchy hyperbole for one another's book jackets — the most prolific are known in the business as 'blurb whores."
— John Tierney, "An Ode to Fitz," The New York Times, June 22, 1997
Notes:
The word blurb, "a brief notice that extols or promotes a product, especially a book or movie," was coined early in this century by the American humorist Gelett Burgess. It's a relatively rare example of a slang term that makes the leap into mainstream use. I'm on a personal mission to keep another of Mr. Burgess' coinages afloat: tintiddle, "a witty retort, thought of too late." Please do me a huge personal favor and slip this word into a conversation or two this weekend.
For alerting me to blurb whore (which, I should point out, is also known, less funnily, as a quote whore), I'd like to thank Word Spy subscriber James Callan.
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