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What is hype? Where does the word come from?

The first dictionary definition of hype (1967) was 'excessive or misleading publicity or advertising'.
Hype is a word still associated with marketing. 
Hype derives from the Greek word hyperbole meaning 'over-casting' or exaggerated statement. There are other interesting derivations. 

  • 'Hype' was an underworld slang word in the 1920s and continued into the Sixties. According to this usage to hype someone was to short change them and a 'hypester' a conman. 
  • There was also a possible connection with drug slang: 'hype' being a shortening of hypodermic needle.


Comments

  1. Does anybody remember the use of the terms "blurb" and "guff" (as in 'a load of guff') - particularly used in the seventies, I think?

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