Rich LaVere: I'm doing research for a book project, and am stumped as to the origin of the word "horsefeathers". I know the dictionary lists "bladerdash" as a synonym, but I remember reading a book called "horsefeathers" when I was in High School that explained that it was a manner of laying down roofing material ("horsefeathering" the shingles, I believe). Can anyone out there help me?
Bill Doggett: Random House 2d ed. Unabridged says that it is American slang, 1925-1930, and that it is a euphemism for horseshit. I would say that the explanation you read in high school was, in itself, horsefeathers.

Return to the Archive Index
Return to the Word for Word articles
Return to the BrisMail Home page