Posted by: episystechpubs | August 7, 2015

Editor’s Corner: Jiggery-pokery and pure applesauce

It’s been several weeks now since Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia utter the terms “pure applesauce” and “jiggery-pokery,” but I’ve had some delightful conversations about the terms so I thought I’d cover them here. (Edith, this higgledy-piggledy jiggery-pokery is for you!)

Pure applesauce, in this context, does not mean that your side dish has no additives or preservatives. Justice Scalia was using the term to mean “nonsense.” According to Merriam-Webster, applesauce is slang for “an insincere expression of opinion; an assertion that is patently absurd and usually phrased in exaggerated terms; bunk; baloney.” The Online Etymology Dictionary lists this slang use from the early 1920s.

Merriam-Webster’s definition of jiggery-pokery is simply delightful. It is listed as a chiefly British term meaning “humbug; nonsense.” The second definition is, “underhanded dealings, conniving, or manipulations; monkey business; skullduggery.” The etymology indicates that it is a variant of the Scottish term “joukery-pawkery,” dated around the late 1800s.

I’d say that Justice Scalia chose to use some great substitutions for our more common, vulgar term that has a first word that starts with B and a second word that starts with S.

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

Symitar Documentation Services

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