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roorback: M-W's Word of the Day
It's also known as "black propaganda." You may have heard of it.
The Word of the Day for Dec 29 is:
roorback \ROOR-back\ (noun)
: a defamatory falsehood published for political effect
"The attacks on my character are nothing but roorbacks drummed up by my opponent," insisted the candidate.
Did you know?
If you think dirty politics are new, think again. In the midst of the 1844 presidential campaign between James K. Polk and Henry Clay, a letter was published in a newspaper in Ithaca, New York claiming that a reputable witness (one Baron von Roorback) had seen Polk purchase and brand 43 slaves. The letter caused an uproar that threatened to derail Polk's campaign until it was discovered that the whole thing was a hoax perpetrated by the opposing party — a 19th-century Watergate. Baron von Roorback didn't even exist. The incident proved a political boomerang; Polk won the election and the name "roorback" became a byword for political dirty tricks.