blurb whore
n. A writer who provides flattering comments about a book or movie in exchange for meals, travel, or some other perk.

Example Citation:
"If you're ever wondered who gives those glowing blurbs in the movie ads — "Battlefield Earth a sci-fi masterpiece," and so on — the answer is nobody. Newsweek magazine revealed that one David Manning of the Ridgefield Press was in fact a fraud cooked up by Sony Pictures. ... Why did they bother making up quotes when there are plenty of blurb-whores around to give even the worst piece of dreck a big thumb's up?"
—Neal Watson, et. al., "A look back a what was happenin' last week," The Edmonton Sun, June 10, 2001

Earliest Citation:
"Today, writers take it for granted that they must provide punchy hyperbole for one another's book jackets — the most prolific are known in the business as 'blurb whores.'"
—John Tierney, "An Ode to Fitz," The New York Times, June 22, 1997

The word blurb, "a brief notice that extols or promotes a product, especially a book or movie," was coined early in this century by the American humorist Gelett Burgess. It's a relatively rare example of a slang term that makes the leap into mainstream use. I'm on a personal mission to keep another of Mr. Burgess' coinages afloat: tintiddle, "a witty retort, thought of too late." Please do me a huge personal favor and slip this word into a conversation or two this weekend.

For alerting me to blurb whore (which, I should point out, is also known, less funnily, as a quote whore), I'd like to thank Word Spy subscriber James Callan.

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