Where does the word “Balderdash” come from and What does Balderdash mean?

A dash more bald than others of its kind?

No, the fact is that no one knows for a certainty how the word “balderdash” originated.

When, in the late sixteenth century, it first appeared in print it referred apparently to a light frothy or bubbly liquid, “barber’s balderdash” was the term used.

where does the word balderdash come from and what does balderdash mean

Not long after, in 1637, John Taylor, the “Water Poet,” said that beer mixed with wine was called balderdash.

Beer and buttermilk, said Ben Jonson, is “balderdash.”

Thus anything frothy, bubbly, or impossibly mixed, whether liquid or language, became so termed.

As to origin, it may have been formed from the slang balductum, a hundred years the elder but itself of unknown ancestry, which also met Jonson’s definition.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist for zippyfacts.com. Born in New York, she loves interesting random facts from all over the world.