Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Words from the White House: Words and Phrases Coined or Popularized by America's Presidents
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on February 24, 2013
When it comes to words, Paul Dickson is out there hunting down the most intriguing, most fascinating, and those with the best stories connected to them. Words from the White House, his latest fact and humor-filled collection, is the kind of dictionary that once you start reading you can't stop. You go on to the next word since you know it's going to be just as intriguing - from A (Administration, used by George Washington) to XYZ (the XYZ Affair - a 1797 diplomatic brouhaha between the United States and France). Every word has a great presidential story. Just one example: "watchful waiting" - originated not by a cautious doctor and widely used during medical treatment, but by Woodrow Wilson, stating his position on recognition of a Mexican revolutionary dictator's government. This book makes a great gift to every student of the American language. Yes, American, as Thomas Jefferson insisted. Paul Dickson tells the story. And ten to one says you'll say - as you'll say about most of the words and phrases - "I'll be darned. I never knew that."
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on May 20, 2013
The book is generally well written but there are two editorial errors which call into question the veracity of all the facts. Very early in the book the author mentions the three Presidents that expired on July 4. They are Adams, Jefferson and Monroe--NOT Madison as he says. Later in the book in a section detailing William Henry Harrison's words there is a picture of his grandson Benjamin Harrison. These should be corrected in future editions.
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on March 5, 2013
America's presidents have all contributed to our country's progress, although some have done so much more than others, and some in ways that history has judged as not altogether positive. However, those contributions - be they good, bad or in between - have not been limited to official executive actions chronicled in traditional history texts.

As Mr. Dickson's latest proves, many words and phrases can be traced to the White House, which makes for a fascinating subject, and that is not a fluke in the case of "Words from the White House" inasmuch as every time Dickson drains a barrel of ink, the results are always interesting and engaging.

For instance, "sugar coated" goes back to Lincoln. "Pussy foot" is one of Teddy Roosevelt's many contributions, along with "loose cannon", "lunatic fringe" and "muckraker. Even a word as common as "administration" came from no one less than George Washington, and Jefferson came up with more than his fair share of contributions, like "belittle" (would you believe).

At the same time, "iffy" is a child of FDR, and "caucus" came from John Adams.

And then there's George W. Bush.

Regardless, there are many fascinating things to be learned from this delightful book, and it's a fun ride all the way from the founding fathers (thank you Mr. Harding for that one) down to Barrack Obama (whose consternation about D.C.'s current agitated state of mind being "wee-weed up" is shared by many).

So, with due credit given to the aforementioned TR, "Words from the White House" can be summed up in one word - BULLY!
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on March 2, 2013
Bought this book because we saw the reader on one of the tv shows. Planned to give it to a friend. My wife and I started looking at it before we gave it as a gift, liked it so much we bought another for ourselves. We gave that one away for another friend, Bought another and another.. I think we have purchased either four our five copies of this book. Great gift book (everyone we have given it to has loved it) and just a neat book to refer to from time to time.
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on March 6, 2013
I purchased this book after hearing its author interviewed on NPR - He was witty, charming and intelligent. I purchased two copies of the book immediately - one for my husband and one for my hard-to-buy-for father-in-law. The book is interesting and humorous, and is a nice "browse-through" book for anyone interested in history, words, fun-facts, etc... a very nice addition to any library!
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on March 1, 2013
As a retired teacher, I enjoy words. This book satisfies my curiosity about their origins. I revisit it often and enjoy it each time.
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on May 24, 2013
Interesting addition to general historic facts. Explains where the now familiar sayings originated and who in history created them. A fun read for the history fan.
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on March 21, 2013
This book is filled with such interesting & amusing facts. I really enjoyed it.
This would be one you would want to keep on hand to refer to frequently.
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on March 14, 2013
This book can be a little slow, but interesting if you like history. Fun to know where some well known expressions started with different presidents, and why
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on March 6, 2013
This book is interesting and answers a lot of questions on who said what and when. It is useful for writers and public speakers searching for illustrations.
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