What does Baloney mean?

Baloney is the alternate Americanized spelling for the Bologna Sausage, that became a popular slang expression, similar to other Italian meat products, such as Jabroni and Gabagool.

Outside of the butcher’s shop and the supermarket, “Baloney” carries an additional slang meaning.

It is used for calling out something as a lie or utter “nonsense”.


What's the origin of Baloney?

“Baloney” was adopted into American lingo as a spalling alternative for the Bologna Sausage in the 1890’s.

It started to be used in boxing slang during the early years of the 20th century, used for a weaker fighter and an “idiot” in the 1910’s.

The expression started to emerge as a slang term for “nonsense” in the 1920’s, and it is claimed by many that it was coined by Jack Conway.

Spread & Usage

How did Baloney spread?

“Baloney” was further popularized in the 1930’s by New York’s governor, Alfred E. Smith, which led to a rapid spread in the East Coast of the United States.

Over the rest of the 20th century, the term “Baloney” became widely used, closely associated with New Yorkers and Italian Americans, appearing in series and films that are set in that environment.

“Baloney” was first defined on Urban Dictionary on August 11th, 2003.

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