Not a bunch of baloney: Ben Zimmer gets to the meat of the issue

On the Common Errors in English Usage Web site, the "bologna/baloney" entry sets us straight on the usage:

“Bologna” is the name of a city in Italy, pronounced “boh-LOAN-ya.” But although in English the sausage named after the city is spelled the same, it is pronounced “buh-LOAN-ee” and is often spelled “baloney.” Either spelling is acceptable for the sliced meat product.

Then there is the expression “a bunch of baloney.” “Baloney” in this case probably originated as a euphemism for “BS.” When it means “nonsense,” the standard spelling is “baloney.” People who write “bunch of bologna” are making a pun or are just being pretentious.

. . . and in today's Word Routes column, Ben Zimmer serves up more on the history of "baloney."

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