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Alternative forms[edit]


Hoover +‎ -ize, 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.