Word of the Day Archive
Monday April 9, 2001
potboiler \POT-boi-lur\ , noun:
A usually inferior literary or artistic work, produced quickly for the purpose of making money.
The play was a mixed blessing. Through it O'Neill latched on to a perennial source of income, but the promise of his youth was essentially squandered on a potboiler.
-- Jane Scovell, Oona. Living in the Shadows
If reading and travel are two of life's most rewarding experiences, to combine them is heavenly. I don't mean sitting on a beach reading the latest potboiler, a fine form of relaxation but not exactly mind-expanding.
-- Stephen Kinzer, "Traveling Companions", New York Times, April 19, 1998
Potboiler comes from the phrase "boil the pot," meaning "to provide one's livelihood."