October 21, 2019

Lawrence O'Donnell learns the word "beclown."


I guess Lawrence O'Donnell hasn't been reading Instapundit over the years, because "beclown" is a favorite word over there. Here are all the "beclown"s on Instapundit, the oldest one being this, from 2007:
I LOVE THIS PHRASE: “BECLOWNED HIMSELF.” It fits.
He loved it, and he remembered to use it. We'll see if O'Donnell, newly infatuated with "beclown," remembers it.

I checked my archive, and I see I've never used "beclown," never even quoted it. But the second place I check is the OED, and it is there, under the entry for the prefix "be-." And the quote is from 1609:
1609 S. Rowlands Whole Crew Kind Gossips 24 O wretch, O Lob, who would be thus beclown'd?
There are lots of "be-" words attested to by the OED — "bedoctor," "befinger," "berascal," "bebutter," "becobweb," "bepimple" (to choose a tiny handful).

Here's something Laurence Sterne wrote in "Tristram Shandy" (1769): "[T]he souls of connoisseurs... by long friction and incumbition, have the happiness, at length, to get all be-virtu'd—be-pictured,—be-butterflied, and be-fiddled."

I am amused (not bemused (which means puzzled)).

85 comments:

BarrySanders20 said...

I besignaled my bevirture by begendering myself to begarner bepraises and bekudos.

Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

Paul Zrimsek said...

We are not bemused.

Dagwood said...

When's the last time an MSNBC anchor didn't besoil himself/herself over Trump?

madAsHell said...

Odd! I feel sure that "beclowned" has shown up in the comments from time to time. If not, then I've over-looked an opportunity to use it.

I think I first heard of "beclowned" around 2006, when I was playing college professor. "Asshat" was another term I learned about the same time.

Nonapod said...

I'm very familiar with the term and love it, but I don't believe I have ever used it personally. It's great insult for someone who is/was respected by certain people who says or does something really stupid. They've made a clown of themselves.

Once respectable people becoming clowns seems to be quite a common occurance these days. It's a clown-pedemic.

libertariansafetyguy said...

It pairs nicely with asshat.

gilbar said...

HOW do you work at the waPoo, and not have used the expression:
"I have beclowned myself; with my idiocy and moronic stupidity regarding the President"?

tcrosse said...

Well, I'll be damned.

TJM said...

Pompeo is smarter than the entire editorial board at the Washington ComPost - the embodiment of Beclowning

Dave Begley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tcrosse said...

Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered....

n.n said...

My favorite in this category is "straw clown".

n.n said...

Beclowned or a popular contemporary variation: jumped the ass.

Qwinn said...

Ironic, given that the most amazing display of beclowning I've ever seen was Lawrence O'Donnell going after the Swift Vets in 2004, where he screamed the word "Liars!" like a hundred times in the space of 5 minutes.

The Vault Dweller said...

I want to say that the usage of 'beclown' over at instapundit originally came via links to an Australian blogger and reporter. It was a favorite descriptor of his to use when politicians or celebrities of the left did something stupid or silly. I don't recall his name, but I do remember he was Australian, and I think he might have immigrated to America. I also kinda remember he had some serious health problems for a time. I wish I could remember his name though.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

The on-air talent at MSNBC are all clowns. Hack-clowns.

Bay Area Guy said...

Althouse blogged about this 2 years ago, but if you wanna talk about Lawrence O'Donnell "beclowning" himself, ya gotta watch his "Stop the Hammering in My Ear video"

It's good for a Monday laugh.

Susan said...

Beclowns to the left of me.
Bejokers to the right.
Here I am stuck in the middle with you!

Hey Skipper said...

Gilbar, not to criticize, but perhaps “bemerded” is a better fit.

Kevin said...

What does the word "beclown" mean to someone who lives in a clown show?

Clown is to MSNBC as water is to fish.

gilbar said...

Hey Skipper, I see where you're going there; but you'd STILL think they'd know the word beclowned

Bay Area Guy said...

Isn't it rich,
Aren't we a pair
Me here at last on the ground,
You in mid-air

Send in the clowns

Isn't it bliss,
Don't you approve
One who keeps tearing around,
One who can't move

Where are the clowns?
Send in the clowns


"Send in the Clowns" by Barbara Streisand via Stephen Sondheim (1973).

wendybar said...

That's because he beclowns himself every time he is on TV.

rcocean said...

ITs funny that you've been posting about Larry O'Donnell. He one of the biggest clowns on Cable TV. Stop the Goddamn Hammering. You creepy liar. Liar, you creepy liar. Trump wrote a love letter to Putin - I got the facts right here. Oh whoops, my bosses say I have to tell the truth or Trump will sue, So gosh i guess was wrong. I am a creepy liar. When i can get away with it.

He's like Joe Scarborough, I have zero idea why any watches, or why anyone cares. Except to make fun of the Liberal freaks.

Drago said...

Uh oh.

Lots of people making fun of the hackiest of hacks at MSNBC!! This is likely to cause a reappearance of the certain LLR who has no doubt taken great umbrage at such criticisms of his beloved network.

JohnW said...

The "be" is what's called a Transitive Prefix, i.e. it makes a noun into a transitive verb. It's common in German but not so clearly described in English.

Sebastian said...

It's an interesting indicator, isn't it, of the fact that your average prog so rarely ventures outside his bubble that he would encounter locutions we deplorables have used for years to make fun of them and their heroes. (Assuming Glenn R. doesn't mind being called deplorable in this context.) Of course, on the other hand, it means that prog hegemony is so strong in the MSM that progs can afford never to venture outside: we are marginal, even Instapundit.

OT: Does any righty still read Jennifer Rubin, or is she read only by progs for material they can use against us deplorables?

Sebastian said...

"he was Australian"

Tim Blair?

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Althouse, if you don't yet follow Captain GrammarPants on Facebook, you should. She's a hoot!

Amadeus 48 said...

O'Donnell didn't just learn the word, he lives the word. How's that red-hot story he had on Trump's Russian co-signers on his loans?

If this were a comedy sketch, it would be dismissed as being too obvious.

FullMoon said...

Lots of people making fun of the hackiest of hacks at MSNBC!! This is likely to cause a reappearance of the certain LLR...

Nope. Check comments on the actual poll site. LLR is there beclowning himself over his unfair dismissal.
LOL

Yancey Ward said...

In general, if you can afford them, you want A-clowns. If you do shit on the cheap like CNN, you get a B-clown like Fredo Cuomo. If you really can't afford top flight talent, then you get the dreaded F-Clown like O'Donnell.

Yancey Ward said...

Joe Scarborough used to a C-clown, but these days he is also an F-clown.

Yancey Ward said...

What is really funny is that if you put in "Larry O'Donnell Beclowns Himself" in Google, you get this as the top result.

wholelottasplainin' said...

You left out "beschissen", another be-word that aptly describes O'Donnell.

Skeptical Voter said...

I knew that Larry O'Donnell had beclowned himself during the 2004 presidential election.

Actually I call him Larry "Lesbian Sex" O'Donnell. Larry was a commenter on one network or another covering a speech by Vice Presidential candidate Dick Cheney. Cheney has a daughter who is a lesbian. The family's open about the daughter's orientation and accepts it. That open acceptance and acknowledgement may or may not have been something that most political pros at the time would do--but Dick "Darth Vader" Cheney did it.

Larry being the sleazy little worm that he is, thought that those "deplorable" rubes that would vote for the likes of Dick Cheney would be put off by a politician who had a lesbian daughter and, horror of horrors, actually engaged in lesbian sex. (Larry that's what lesbians actually do when the mood strikes them).

Now if you listen to a post game interview from an NBA locker room, you realize that many NBA players like to pepper their speech with the phrase "you know". A good NBA player can get that phrase off 30 or more times in a two minute interview. 35 uses in two minutes was probably the NBA record at the time.

Good old Larry went for it. He used the words "lesbian sex" 33 times in a two minute spiel. Not quite the then NBA record, but close. He wanted to make absolutely sure that all those voters out in Keokuk Iowa, and Frog Hollow Kentucky knew that Dick Cheney's daughter Lynn engaged in "lesbian sex".

He is a nasty little man with no more character than a cross between a skunk and a scorpion. And yes he beclowned himself on that occasion as well as on many other occasions.

Drago said...

Fullmoon: "Nope. Check comments on the actual poll site. LLR is there beclowning himself over his unfair dismissal."

What name is he posting under there?

Stoutcat said...

The Vault Dweller, are you thinking of Tim Blair?

I had the impression that Michelle Malkin brought the word into current usage back in the early 2000s.

Bilwick said...

As in: "'Liberals' beclown themselves when they talk about economics."

Ken B said...

This is like Methuselah discovering the word “old”.

Wince said...

Judy Garland and Gene Kelly:

"Be A Clown, Be A Clown!"

All the world loves a clown
Act the fool, play the calf
And you'll always have the last laugh
Wear the cap and the bells
And you'll rate with all the great swells
If you become a doctor, folks'll face you with dread
If you become a dentist, they'll be glad when you're dead
You'll get a bigger hand if you can stand on your head
Be a clown, be a clown, be a clown

Be a clown, be a clown
All the world loves a clown
Show 'em tricks, tell 'em jokes
And you'll only stop with top folks
Be a crack Jackanapes
And they'll imitate you like apes
Why be a great composer with your rent in arrears
Why be a major poet and you'll owe it for years
When crowds'll pay to giggle if you wiggle your ears

Be a clown, be a clown, be a clown
Be a clown, be a clown
All the world loves a clown
If you just make 'em roar
Watch your Mounte bank account soar
Wear a painted mustache
And you're sure to make a big splash
A college education I should never propose
A bachelor's degree won't even keep you in clothes
But millions you will win if you can spin on your nose

Be a clown, be a clown, be a clown
Give 'em quips, give 'em fun
And they'll happy to say you're A-1
If you become a farmer you've the weather to buck
If you become a gambler you'll be stuck with your luck
But Jack you'll never lack if you can quack like a duck

Be a clown, be a clown, be a clown

Stoutcat said...

Here we go...

Glenn Reynolds takes on unhinged critics: “It’s not only important to have the right opinions — it’s important to have them at the right time.”

HEH.

*See Tim Blair for the etymology of “beclowning.”


http://michellemalkin.com/2007/02/20/beclowned/

FullMoon said...

What name is he posting under there?

You need to follow AA's link to view the poll results in order to comment.

Bob said...

Lawrence O'Donnell cannot beclown himself. He's been a clown from the beginning.

Ann Althouse said...

“ Odd! I feel sure that "beclowned" has shown up in the comments from time to time. ”

I didn’t search the comments. A search of “the archive “ is only of the posts. I was referring to my own taste in language.

daskol said...

Bedazzled is a good one, but not nearly as funny vejazzled.

Biff said...

Prof. Althouse said, "I checked my archive, and I see I've never used 'beclown,' never even quoted it."

A few weeks ago, you included a quote from Eugene Robinson's column that said, "Republicans are beclowning themselves to pretend Trump is making sense..."

You also quoted one of your commenters speaking about "beclowning" back in 2016.

There may be other examples, but it would take a while to separate them from the numerous times your commenters have used forms of the word. (I did a site-specific search for "beclown" using this google search phrase: "beclown site:althouse.blogspot.com".)

Michael K said...

Interesting that only Safari shows the twitter clip. Firefox did it for a bit then it vanished as all do. Only Safari shows it.

TJM said...

I think O'Donnell is mentally ill and a real nasty piece of work

mockturtle said...

The term 'beclowned' has been used frequently here in the comments.

Bill R said...

The trio "bebutter", "befinger", and "berascal are firing up my word association machinery.

narciso said...

in other news,

https://www.cnet.com/news/as-facebook-preps-for-2020-election-zuckerberg-helps-buttigieg-with-campaign-hires/

Iman said...

Many years ago on CNBC, Cathy Seipp versus Lawrence O’Donnell was the "Thrillah on Dennis Millah”. She helped him look as small and stupid as a leftwing man can.

Michael K said...


Blogger daskol said...
Bedazzled is a good one, but not nearly as funny vejazzled.


I prefer befuddled

narciso said...

speaking of clowns, steve Schmidt everyone,

Amadeus 48 said...

I don’t believe O’Donnell just learned the word. It has been used too often by others to describe his work. O’Donnell is lying. He can’t even tell the truth about his feeble attempts to belittle others. He besmirches and betrays his own cause, belatedly belching out blather belying his his baffling and benighted attempts to blame (through his own botched babblings regarding a boffo bon mot) his own bemusement. The man was born bad and has beclowned himself further.

Barry Dauphin said...

O'Donnell has only just discovered it, and he's a "journalist"? I've seen it so many times, I think that the writer is simply being lazy using it.

cubanbob said...

Is being a genuine moron a job requirement to be a host on MSNBC or does simply and purposefully beclowning oneself be enough to garner the job? Inquiring minds want to enquire. I hear they pay very well if you can be a convincing moron and have no scruples.

stevew said...

I like that word, 'beclown', but only written down and in reference to some person's actions. It is a word that is best deployed rarely lest it become a sort of verbal tick that the reader no longer registers.

Lawrence O'Donnell, through his antics, is a great example of someone to which the word applies quite well.

Drago said...

Fullmoon: "You need to follow AA's link to view the poll results in order to comment."

I asked what name LLR C**** is posting under there.

narciso said...

more stable outlets,


https://twitter.com/MacaesBruno/status/1186389426634706944

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Buck Sexton just played a clip of MSNBC talking about Tusli.

first - They said they thought it was funny that Tulsi didn't deny being a Russian assent.
and then - the MSDNC people went on to say that Hillary never named Tusli by name.
That is an outright LIE. Hillary mentioned Tulsi and Jill STein by NAME.

MSNBC = Hillary Pac.

Milwaukie guy said...

As someone who was a communist during my twenties and an "independent Democrat" in Chicago for the next 35 years, I try to be bemused by the Democrats. For my own mental health. Otherwise I just want to pick up the gun and get it over with. Death to Socialism!

Milwaukie guy said...

I forgot to add, before I get to old to man a roadblock.

Gunner said...

On Election Night 2016, MSNBC buffoons like Lawrence beclowned themselves 525% more than normal.

Aussie Pundit said...

It was popularised in modern usage by the Australian blogger Tim Blair.
Don't take my word for it: look at Instapundit's "first link" that Ann found: it goes to Tim Blair's blog.
Yes, sure, it was used several hundred years ago but was antiquated and had basically disappeared until Blair revived it.

Fun fact: Blair is also responsible for coining the word "Fisking" (a description of his devastating takedowns of leftist writer Robert Fisk)

Howard said...

Only Asshats utilize Beclown

rhhardin said...

betrothed

FullMoon said...

I asked what name LLR C**** is posting under there.

The usual.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

assent? asset

Drago said...

Howard: "Only Asshats utilize Beclown"

A common belief amongst True Beclowners.

Charlie said...

STOP THE HAMMERING!!!!

Bob Smith said...

That Mulvaney guy is a dumb s**t. Dunno about Pompeo. But he’s sure fat.

chickelit said...

JohnW said...The "be" is what's called a Transitive Prefix, i.e. it makes a noun into a transitive verb. It's common in German but not so clearly described in English.

Another meaning for the prefix is to be surrounded by, completely from all sides by whatever word follows. The prefix is cognate with our word "by" (bei in German). There is a parallel use in Latinate languages: the prefix "per" meaning thoroughly, completely. Examples include perfidy, pervade, pervert, and my favorites -- from chemistry: perfluoro, peroxide, perchlorate, etc.

rhhardin said...

Broke young couple stumble on a case of money from a broken drug shootout, buy a used car and drive off far away and get married. The secret is only watch the first third of the movie. A great time-saver and you avoid idiotic and contrived plot twists.

Skip the genre trap.

Mary Beth (the commenter) said...

I can pretty much guarantee that people in Frog Hollow are not watching MSNBC and were not watching for his 33x run of "lesbian sex". If you ask them who Lawrence O'Donnell is, they'll say, "Rosie's brother?". It's not that they're dumb, it's that he's so far off their radar that he's irrelevant. Bless his heart.

Phil 314 said...

Please don’t use “Bexlown”

Ken B said...

If he doesn’t use it to describe Hillary’s attack on Gabbard he doesn’t know how to use it.

Danno said...

Blogger JohnW said..."The "be" is what's called a Transitive Prefix, i.e. it makes a noun into a transitive verb. It's common in German but not so clearly described in English."

Yes. O'Donnell is a nestbeschmutzer!

Skeptical Voter said...

Mary Beth I agree that the people in Frog Hollow Kentucky and Gnaw Bone Indiana (yes I have driven through Gnaw Bone Indiana enroute from Dayton Ohio to Bloomington Indiana) don't give two popcorn poots in a windstorm for the likes of Larry Lesbian Sex O'Donnell. They're too busy making a living, raising their family, and maybe going to church on Sunday. None of those activities require paying any heed to Larry.

People in flyover country have been hurting for quite a while now. Historian Frederick Jackson Turner said that the American Frontier closed in 1890. At the time the federal government defined a "frontier county" as any county where the population was less than 100 people per square mile. By 1995 or so as rural counties emptied out the USA actually had a greater number of "frontier counties" than it had in 1890--or at least I read that in either Harpers or Atlantic magazine at the time.

There aren't many voters in those counties, but they'll gladly vote against the likes of Hillary Clinton or Larry O'Donnell.

Guildofcannonballs said...

"Woman is the most fiendish instrument ever devised to bedevil the days of man." - Coens in O Brother, Where Art Thou.

Iman said...

Beclowning oneself is necessary to establish one’s bonafides in the hierarchy...

1) Hoser >>> 2) Yohan >>> 3) Knob

Lefties aspire to be number 3.

Ann Althouse said...

"“ Odd! I feel sure that "beclowned" has shown up in the comments from time to time. ” I didn’t search the comments. A search of “the archive “ is only of the posts. I was referring to my own taste in language."

To check the archive of my posts, you can use the search box at the top of the page. That doesn't collect comments.

To search the comments as well as the posts, you can go to Google and include site:althouse.blogspot.com in the search. There are many uses of "beclown" in the comments. That's not surprising given the likelihood that people who read me read Instapundit. I actually go out of my way not to use a word that someone else has made their buzzword. So I might have naturally written "Indeed" as a response to something, but I've always avoided that because it's an Instapundit thing.

Bruce Hayden said...

“People in flyover country have been hurting for quite a while now. Historian Frederick Jackson Turner said that the American Frontier closed in 1890. At the time the federal government defined a "frontier county" as any county where the population was less than 100 people per square mile. By 1995 or so as rural counties emptied out the USA actually had a greater number of "frontier counties" than it had in 1890--or at least I read that in either Harpers or Atlantic magazine at the time. ”

Worse. Almost half the states (24/50) today fall into “frontier country”. MT is #48, with 7 per sq mike, and our county has half that population density. I like it. A lot. But we go south for half the year to live with 4 million or so others in the Valley Of The Sun. Takes a couple weeks. My partner still isn’t sleeping right, with the street noises - I just heard a bus at 5:20 AM.

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.