23 August 2013

"A blizzard of horseradish" explained

I had not heard this phrase before, but I had heard of "horsefeathers."  They are related, as noted at World Wide Words:
Most examples from newspapers imply that a blizzard of horseradish is a torrent of unhelpful or irrelevant political verbiage:
All the righteous indignation which drifts down Capitol Hill like a blizzard of horseradish is simply partisan politics.
The News and Tribune (Jefferson City, Missouri), 3 Feb, 1974.
Horseradish is on record from the 1920s meaning arrant nonsense or rubbish, a relative of horsefeathers. Both terms are euphemisms for horseshit or bullshit. It’s possible that an unbowdlerised alliterative form blizzard of bullshit could already have been in use around that date; it’s recorded only within the past decade, but that doesn’t mean a lot as it would have been considered too rude to print much before then...

A few sources suggest where it comes from:
The death of Ho Chi Minh has left policy-makers at the State Department, and the men who convey their thinking to the public, lost in what Groucho Marx once called “a blizzard of horseradish.”
Naugatuck Daily News (Connecticut), 10 Sep. 1969.
You learn something every day.  Now I have a new euphemism to use.


  1. Jerry of, in and around DallasAugust 23, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    I've heard of "bullhockey" being used.

  2. If I weren't so amused, as a resident of a horseradish producing town, I might be offended. But since Eau Claire, WI and Collinsville, IL are the horseradish centers of the universe and I have lived just outside of both, I can be magnanimous. I think some of our elected officials need a blizzard of horseradish to get them in action!

    1. I didn't know that; I'll have to tease my family in EC. Tx.


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