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Alternative forms[edit]


Hoover +‎ -ize, named after Herbert Hoover, who as head of the Food and Drug Administration during World War I, encouraged Americans to ration food. Apparently coined in the poem reproduced below.



Hooverize (third-person singular simple present Hooverizes, present participle Hooverizing, simple past and past participle Hooverized)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To be economical in the use of a resource, particularly food. [from 1917]
    • 1917, Margaret Leet Beckman, “Hooverize!”, in Table Talk, volume 43, number 3, page 21:
      The clean plate is the slogan of today, / And we this vital war-cry must obey, / And waste no single particle or crust / And save the scraps, for now we really must / Hooverize! / The empty garbage pail is now the rage, / And in this ‘war on waste’ which we must wage / To throw away an egg shell will be sin / So if, with great success, we are to win, / Hooverize! / Things must be canned which never were before, / We must have fruits and vegetables galore, / There must be lots of corn and beets and beans, / And to us all this warning simple means, / Hooverize! / Our soldiers must be fed in France and here, / To all of us our soldiers are most dear, / And we must ‘do our bit’ and help along, / And every one of us must sing the song, / Hooverize! / ‘Conserve your food supply and win the war,’ / All of you have read these words before, / But when you red them now remember you / Have got your ‘little bit’ cut out to do— / So Hooverize!
    • 1918, Whilhelm Bodemann, “Hooverizing the Telephone”, in N.A.R.D. Journal, volume 26, page 25:
      Hooverize’ is the word in our national economical situation. Let us Hooverize in the telephone service; conserve the force that plays such an important role in our present-day business methods; save time; save electricity spent on tomfoolery gossipping over the wire; keep the front door for business wide open; Hooverize for measured service.
    • 2017, Barry Riley, The Political History of American Food Aid: An Uneasy Benevolence, Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page 25:
      As William Leuchtenburg writes: So pervasive were the food administrator’s messages that Webster’s gained a new entry: Hooverize, meaning to economize in the national interest. It became a household word. A 1918 Valentine’s Day card read: I can Hooverize on dinner, ? And on lights and fuel too, / But I'll never learn to Hooverize, / When it comes to loving you.