Belinda Blurb was a fictional character who appeared on the dust jacket of a book written by Gelett Burgess (1866-1951) titled Are You a Bromide? Her name has been immortalized by its acceptance into the English language and by an entry in recent English dictionaries.
   The publisher of the book, B. W. Huebish, in the summer 1937 issue of the publication Colophon, to report the .history of the word blurb, wrote, in part: "It is the custom of publishers to present copies of a conspicuous current book to booksellers attending the annual dinner of their trade association, and as this little book was in its heyday when the meeting took place I gave it to 500 guests. These copies were differentiated from the regular edition by the addition of a comic bookplate drawn by the author and by a special jacket which he devised. It was the common practice to print the picture of a damsel—languishing, heroic, or coquettish—on the jacket of every novel, so Burgess lifted from a Lydia Pinkham or tooth-powder advertisement the portrait of a sicklysweet young woman, painted in some gleaming teeth, and otherwise enhanced her pulchritude, and placed her in the center of the jacket. His accompanying text was some nonsense about 'Miss Belinda Blurb,' and thus the term supplied a real need and became a fixture in our language."
   Burgess was born in Boston, attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and in the late 1800s moved to San Francisco. After a stint at teaching at Berkeley, he became an associate editor of The Wave, a society paper. He was a prolific writer, known for a briskly satirical style, as exemplified by the titles of some of his books. Aside from Are You a Bromide? (1906) he wrote Why Men Hate Women (1927) and Loo Eleven Years Younger (1937), and several other books in the same vein. Burgess, in 1895, wrote a four-liner that plagued him all the rest of his life. His whimsical quatrain—"I never saw a Purple Cow never hope to see one;/But I can tell you anyhow,/I'd rather see than he one"—was gleefully shouted at him wherever he went. In retaliation, in 1914, Burgess wrote this rebuttal—"Ah, yes I wrote the Purple Cow/I'm sorry now, I wrote it!/But I can tell you anyhow/I'll kill you if you quote it!"

Dictionary of eponyms. . 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • blurb — [blɜːb ǁ blɜːrb] noun [countable usually singular] informal MARKETING a short piece of writing describing and advertising a book, film, or a new product: • The blurb for her latest book describes her as one of Britain s best loved art critics . * …   Financial and business terms

  • blurb — 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… …   Etymology dictionary

  • blurb — ☆ blurb [blʉrb ] n. [coined ( c. 1907) by BURGESS (Frank) Gelett, for “self praise, to make a noise like a publisher”] an advertisement or announcement, as on a book jacket, esp. one that is highly laudatory vi. Informal to state in a blurb …   English World dictionary

  • blurb — blurb·ist; blurb; …   English syllables

  • Blurb — bezeichnet: Klappentext auf Buchumschägen eine von Simon Vinkenoog in Paris gegründete Zeitschrift Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehrerer mit demselb …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Blurb — er den korte beskrivelse af en bog, som normalt er trykt på bogens omslag. Udtrykket blev skabt af den amerikanske forfatter F.G. Burgess (1866 1951) …   Danske encyklopædi

  • blurb — [blə:b US blə:rb] n [Date: 1900 2000; Origin: An invented word] a short description giving information about a book, new product etc …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • blurb — [ blɜrb ] noun singular information printed on the outside of something, especially something for sale such as a book, to describe it or make it attractive to buy …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • blurb — puff, review, critique, *criticism …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • blurb — ► NOUN ▪ a short promotional description of a book, film, or other product. ORIGIN coined by the American humorist Gelett Burgess (died 1951) …   English terms dictionary

  • Blurb — A blurb is a short summary or some words of praise accompanying a creative work, usually referring to the words on the back of the book but also commonly seen on DVD and video cases, web portals and news websites. TodayA blurb on a book or a film …   Wikipedia

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