Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?
used by U.S. scholar Brander Matthews (1852-1929) in 1906 in "American Character;" popularized 1907 by U.S. humorist Frank Gelett Burgess (1866-1951). Originally mocking excessive praise printed on book jackets.
Gelett Burgess, whose recent little book, "Are You a Bromide?" has been referred to above, then entertained the guests with some characteristic flashes of Burgessian humor. Referring to the word "blurb" on the wrapper of his book he said: "To 'blurb' is to make a sound like a publisher. The blurb was invented by Frank A. Munsey when he wrote on the front of his magazine in red ink 'I consider this number of Munsey's the hottest pie that ever came out of my bakery.' ... A blurb is a check drawn on Fame, and it is seldom honored.["] ["Publishers' Weekly," May 18, 1907]
A statement in praise of something or somebody; esp an encomious passage from a book or theater review, used as advertising
[1910+; said to have been coined by Gelett Burgess (1866–1951), US humorist and illustrator; also attributed to Brander Matthews (1852–1929), US scholar and critic]