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Re: Armchair general; Monday morning qback

Posted by ESC on September 24, 2002

In Reply to: Random phrases vol. 2 posted by Ed Stansell on September 24, 2002

: "Armchair general" meaning one who , though they have no military experience critcizes the military or something similar. (similar to "backseat driver"

: "Monday morning quarterback" meaning one finds fault with a football team when the game is over; as if he could have done a better job of calling the plays. Something like an "Armchair general" Origins, anyone?
: ES

I don't have a definitive origin for either. Here's what I found:

An "armchair strategist (is) one who pontificates about world events; a sofa sophist.The armchair is a place of comfort from which to make discomfiting remarks; it can also be used as a symbol of laziness. Architect Frank Lloyd Wright claimed in 1938 that 'armchair education' was the reason Americans did not realize how discredited their culture was in the eyes of the world." In 1967 New York Times correspondent Max Frankel wrote: "In most wars, the armchairs are full of generals refighting every battle." From "Safire's New Political Dictionary" by William Safire (Random House, New York, 1993).

MONDAY-MORNING QUARTERBACK - "one who second-guesses or offers counsel about matters with which he or she is neither concerned nor well informed. The term refers to the after-the-fact football spectator who 'knows' just how the quarterback could have won the game of the past weekend, or win with a higher score. An Americanism, the term originated about 1940 and soon was transferred to other examples of twenty-twenty hindsight. However, it is interesting to note that the 1911 edition of Ambrose Bierce's 'The Devil's Dictionary' defined Monday as 'In Christian countries, the day after the baseball games.'" "Southpaws & Sunday Punches and other Sporting Expressions" by Christine Ammer (Penguin Books, New York, 1993). Another source says the phrase dates back to 1932. "Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, Volume 1, H-O" by J.E. Lighter, Random House, New York, 1994.