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Sep 8, 2017
This week’s theme
Terms from ball games

This week’s words
Monday morning quarterback
slam dunk
bush league
googly
spin doctor

spin doctor cartoon
“And all the King’s spin doctors couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty’s poll numbers back together again.”
Cartoon: Harley Schwadron/Jantoo

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

spin doctor

PRONUNCIATION:
(SPIN dok-tuhr)

MEANING:
noun: A representative who is adept in presenting a favorable interpretation of events, utterances, and actions for a politician or some other public figure; one who manipulates news.

ETYMOLOGY:
From ball games (cricket, baseball, etc.) where spinning a ball helps a player project it in the desired direction. From spin + doctor (expert) or from the verb to doctor (to tamper or falsify). Earliest documented use: 1984.

NOTES:
Politics has been around for ages but surprisingly the term spin doctor is relatively recent. It arose during the 1984 US presidential election. This term is also used facetiously to refer to people in a number of other professions, e.g., disk jockey, vertigo specialist, bicycle mechanic, and a player who is good at spinning a ball in cricket, tennis, billiards, or some other game.

USAGE:
“You don’t have a spin doctor to explain away those bad situations.”
Frank E. Burdett; Laughing at Yourself; Xlibris; 2014.

See more usage examples of spin doctor in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
People forget years and remember moments. -Ann Beattie, novelist (b. 8 Sep 1947)

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