Goldwynism (GOLD-wi-niz-em) noun (akin to a Yogism)
A humorous statement or phrase resulting from the use of incongruous or contradictory words, situations, idioms, etc.
[After Samuel Goldwyn (1879-1974), Polish-born US film producer, known for such remarks. Born Schmuel Gelbfisz, he changed his name to Samuel Goldfish after he went to UK, and to Samuel Goldwyn after moving to the US.]
Here are some examples of Goldwynisms:
- "Include me out."
- "When I want your opinion, I will give it to you."
- "I'll give you a definite maybe."
- "If I could drop dead right now, I would be the happiest man alive."
- "Anybody who goes to a psychiatrist ought to have his head examined."
- "I may not always be right, but I am never wrong."
- "In two words: im-possible."
- "I want everybody to tell me the truth, even if it costs them their jobs."
- "A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on."
- "They stayed away in droves."
This continues the tradition of such eponym words as malapropism, Spoonerism, and Yogism.
"[Gregory] Peck also came up with a great Goldwynism [really a borrowed Yogi Berra-ism]: 'If they won't go to the box-office, you can't stop 'em.'"
-- Iain Johnstone; Waxing Not Waning; The Times (London, UK); May 24, 1992.
"There was an air of Goldwynism about the row over Sinn Fein's proposals, which Bairbre de Bruin, following her leader's example, thought too delicate to be committed to print. (The unionists, reasonably enough, thought Gerry Adams's verbal commitment wasn't worth the paper it was written on.)"
-- Dick Walsh; All Roads Lead Back to Belfast Agreement; Irish Times (Dublin, Ireland); Jul 3, 1999.