‘globaloney’: meaning and origin

Of American-English origin, the noun globaloney denotes nonsensical or absurd talk or ideas concerning global issues.

For example, the following is from After Salisbury 1, Britain must realise its true friends are in Europe, by Martin Kettle, published in The Guardian (London and Manchester, England) of Wednesday 21st March 2018:

Of all the vacuous slogans generated by the entire Brexit campaign and process, “Global Britain” is the most vacuous of all. Not before time, the phrase is being called out for what it really is. Last week the Commons foreign affairs select committee dismissed it as meaningless, the former head of the Foreign Office trashed it as “mushy thinking”, while the Economist scorned it as “globaloney”.

1 This refers to the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, a former Russian military officer and double agent for the British intelligence agencies, and of his daughter, Yulia Skripal, on Sunday 4th March 2018 in the city of Salisbury, England.

A blend of the adjective global and of the noun baloney, denoting nonsense, globaloney was coined by the U.S. playwright, diplomat and journalist Clare Boothe Luce (1903-1987) in her maiden speech to the House of Representatives on Tuesday 9th February 1943 (she had, in 1942, won a Republican seat representing Fairfield County, Connecticut); newspapers nationwide reported on that speech the following day—for example, The Burlington Free Press (Burlington, Vermont):

Clare Boothe Luce Calls Some Of Wallace’s 2 Views ‘Globaloney’

Washington, Feb. 9. (AP)—Rep. Clare Boothe Luce, in her first speech to congress, today urged creation of a full-fledged house committee to deal with present and post-war civilian aviation, and described as “globaloney” some of Vice-President Wallace’s views.
“If out of indifference or lack of foresight, this administration, and this congress, espouse the wrong air policy for this nation, we shall have most efficiently laid the ground-work for America’s certain defeat in world war III,” said Mrs. Luce (R.-Conn.)
The blonde playwright declared the international aviation score stands thus:
“We have been insensibly but steadily losing, not gaining our commercial air supremacy abroad.
Our pride in the extraordinary job they (the army and navy) have so gallantly done in the face of great obstacles is boundless, but we beg them to be most careful not to fritter away our best chance of winning the peace—which is post-war civilian, as well as military, control of the air.”
Mrs. Luce expressed agreement with some of Vice-President Wallace’s ideals, but asserted he did “a great deal of global thinking” in a recent magazine article.
“Much of what Mr. Wallace calls his global thinking is, no matter how you slice it, still globaloney,” she said. “Mr. Wallace’s warp of sense and his woof of nonsense is very thickly cloth out of which to cut the pattern of a post-war world.”
While planning for post-war aviation could be undertaken now, she said, the same was not true of other peace aims—“there is a vast area of specific war and peace aims which can never be clarified, stated or proposed, and certainly not enjoined upon the world, until we know what goes on in the mind of Josef Stalin.”

2 Henry Agard Wallace (1888-1965) served as the 33rd Vice President of the USA (1941-45) under Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945), 32nd President of the USA (1933-45).

The word globaloney gained such currency in 1943 that Marcia Winn 3 listed it—without mentioning its coiner—in the following from her column Front Views & Profiles, published in the Chicago Daily Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) of Friday 31st December:

The Year Behind Us

It was the year nail brushes, Kleenex, and butter began to vanish from the American scene and words such as seep [sea going jeep], globaloney, and televise crept into the American tongue.

3 Katherine Marcia Winn (1911-1961) was a U.S. journalist.

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