Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Original Original Mavericks

An unbranded range animal, especially a calf that has become
separated from its mother, traditionally considered the property of the first
person who brands it.

So I suppose that John McCain, wandering from position to position depending on who has the latest brand on him, could be considered an original maverick. I just haven't been able to find a definition of the word "Maverick" that means unrepentant fibber to fit Sarah Palin.

Unless, of course, she means this Maverick.
Or this well-known scoundrel.

1 comment:

John Foust said...

Safire on the origin of the word:

That befits a reg’lar guy trying to head a free people’s government. And while we’re at it, let’s take a run at the Americanism most often tied like a tin can to McCain’s tail: maverick. In the 1840s, Samuel Augustus Maverick was a Texas cattleman who refused to brand his cattle because he said it was cruel to the animals. Rather than hail him as a humane hero, his neighbors denounced him as a damned hypocrite because his kindness enabled him to lay claim to all the unbranded cattle that wandered onto his range. Lawsuits and shoot-’em-ups are said to have followed, but the result was a triumph of eponymy: the cattleman’s name, Maverick, became the word for an animal that bore nobody’s brand.