TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: origin of a phrase From:Kent Newton <KentN -at- METRIX-INC -dot- COM> Date:Mon, 25 Nov 1996 10:39:01 -0600
Thom, on Monday, November 25, 1996 10:22 AM, you wrote:
>>Recently, I ran into a bit of controversy over the phrase "bigger bang for
>>the buck." I had always assumed that this had to do with explosives -
>>fireworks and the like, but I was told that it had originated as a
>>description dealing with prostitution. 'Nuff said.
>>Question: Does anyone know *definitively* how this expression has arisen?
>>Has anyone else run into a problem with this expression?
From the Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang (Volume 1
A-G) by J.E. Lighter:
"bang for the buck [fr. military spending; 'bang" in the sense of
'firepower'] value for one's money."
It goes on to cite several references: (1968) Safire New Language of
Politics, (1981) Business Week Sept 7, (1984) L.A. Times June 14, (1990)
U.S. News & World Report June 4, and 1992 Hosanskyu & Sparling Wording
Senior Technical Writer
kentn -at- metrix-inc -dot- com