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Blivik

posted by Buce

Re the K Street theory, our good friend Bruce (well known to all at CreditSlips) weighs in:

You used the word "blivik;" didn't you mean "blivit"?  For what it's worth, the OED 2d defines blivit as:

Blivit:  [Etym. unkn.; cf. BLIP n., WIDGET, and phonosymbolic force of bl- with repeated minimal vowel to indicate inconsequence, rejection, etc.]

A pseudo-term for something useless, unnecessary, annoying, etc.; hence, = THINGAMAJIG (see quots.).

1967 WENTWORTH & FLEXNER Dict. Amer. Slang Suppl. 673/2 Blivit, n., anything unnecessary, confused, or annoying. Lit. defined as ‘10 pounds of shit in a 5-pound bag’. Orig. W.W. II Army use. The word is seldom heard except when the speaker uses it in order to define it; hence the word is actually a joke. 1980 Aviation Week & Space Technol. 15 Sept. 61 Refueling of helicopters..surfaced as an alternative to air dropping fuel blivits. 1981 N.Y. Times 27 Mar. C25/1 The main ingredient of this charm is a facility for saying it before you can, for calling ‘Palm Sunday’ a ‘blivet’ before you can call it a piece of junk. 1981 Sci. Amer. Dec. 28/2 This little book for grade school psychologists and philosophers presents a few dozen of these interesting but less familiar illusions, along with the arrow lengths, outline cubes, Eschers and three-pronged blivits of the standard optical-illusion list. 1982 Industr. Robots Internat. 22 Mar. 8 ‘Single station machines for assembly’, he says, ‘are blivets. Anybody who wants a definition can call me up.’ 1983 Washington Post 26 Aug. D1 For such tasks, you obviously need a magic tool that lets you get 10 pounds into a five-pound bag. Such a heaven-sent, makeshift magic part is called a ‘blivit’.

Response: every syllable of that is wonderful, but I meant "blivik," a word I learned in bankruptcy practice as denoting that thing I give to the other party in a negotiation which he thinks of great value but which I know is really worthless (an economist would say we simply have different utility functions).  I had assumed it was Yiddish; I first learned it from the renowned kabbalist, Alan Pedlar of the California bankruptcy bar.   Google did not confirm, although I guess it will now, and it did recognize Phillippe de Blivek, who sounds like he must have had a walk-on part in a Mel Brooks movie.

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