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1857, "mathematical condition of being at right angles," from normal + -cy. Associated since c.1920 with U.S. president Warren G. Harding and derided as an example of his incompetent speaking style. Previously used mostly in the mathematical sense. The word prefered by purists for "a normal situation" is normality (1849).
A word used by President Warren Harding to describe the calm political and social order to which he wished to return the United States after the idealism and commotion of the presidency of Woodrow Wilson.
Note: Normalcy has been used as a general term for the political climate in the United States in the early 1920s.