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gonzo (GON-zo) adjective

Having a bizarre, subjective, idiosyncratic style, especially in journalism.

[Coined by Bill Cardoso, journalist and author, in 1971. It was first used in a published work by Hunter S. Thompson, journalist and author (1939- ). Perhaps from Italian gonzo (simpleton) or Spanish ganso (dull or fool, literally a goose).]

"Gonzo chef! Surly and sexy! Outlaw in the kitchen! Anthony Bourdain's reputation not only precedes him, it also pretty much takes over for him. His 2000 best seller, 'Kitchen Confidential,' was a lurid snapshot of restaurant kitchens at their least appetizing."
Laura Shapiro; A Wandering Chef in Search of Adventures in Eating; The New York Times; Jan 8, 2002.

"I am reckless enough to risk a small proportion of the family's weekly income on backing my judgment of the likely outcome of a race. ... I do not count this as betting, more as gonzo journalism. I mean, how can I be expected to write about this stuff, without living it?"
Martin Kelner, Screen Break: Wanna Bet Roy'll Wipe This One On His Sleeve?, The Guardian (London), Oct 22, 2001.

This week's theme: Coined words.


The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn. -Gloria Steinem, women's rights activist, editor (1934- )

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