nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American people

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Widely attributed to American author and social critic H. L. Mencken (1880–1956) but not found in his published works, so the source and original form of this expression are not known with certainty.[1]

Proverb[edit]

nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American people

  1. Americans, as a group, do not have good taste or sophistication and can be easily amused or distracted to produce financial benefit for someone.
    • 1982 June 13, Edwin McDowell, "About Books and Authors," New York Times (retrieved 13 Sep 2015):
      “I remembered that nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public, so I set out to write the worst novel it was humanly possible to write and still get published,” he said.

Usage notes[edit]

  • In a common variant version of this proverb, the term intelligence is used instead of taste.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ralph Keyes, The Quote Verifier: Who Said What, Where, and When (2006), pp. 17-18.