Writers and other members of the intelligentsia who advocate war or imperialism.
Example Citation:
How the war fevers raged in those days after Sept. 11. The nation's syndicated belligerati were beside themselves. Columnist Michael Kelly flayed the unconscionable pacifists as pro-terrorist and evil. Charles Krauthammer argued for bombing an enemy city, anywhere.
— Michael Powell, "An Eminence With No Shades of Gray," The Washington Post, May 5, 2002
Earliest Citation:
Both men have retained their reputations as enfants terribles, probably perpetuated by their cruel-lipped, scowly poses in publicity photos.
— Joy Press, "The Belligerati," The Village Voice, November 6, 2001
Over the past few months, however, the word's meaning shifted to the "warmongers/imperialists" sense thanks to a controversial article by the historian and novelist Tariq Ali that appeared in March:
[F]ormer critics of imperialism found themselves trapped by the debris of September 11. Many have now become its most vociferous loyalists. I am not, in this instance, referring to the belligerati — Salman Rushdie, Martin Amis and friends — ever-present in the liberal press on both sides of the Atlantic.
— Tariq Ali, "The new empire loyalists: Former leftists turned US military cheerleaders are helping snuff out its traditions of dissent," The Guardian, March 16, 2002
This word began it linguistic life referring to writers who use an angry, confrontational style (belligerent + literati). Its first media appearance came in a review of the books The War Against Cliché, by Martin Amis, and Letters to a Young Contrarian, by Christopher Hitchens (see the review title).
Note that this sense of this term made an even earlier appearance on Usenet (April 10, 2001).
Related Words: Categories:

New words. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • belligerati — (buh.LIJ.uh.rat.eye) n. Writers and other members of the intelligentsia who advocate war or imperialism. Posted on May 31, 2002 by Paul McFedries, the Word Spy. How the war fevers raged in those days after Sept. 11. The nation s syndicated… …   Dictionary of american slang

  • Salman Rushdie — Rushdie at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival Vanity Fair party Born Ahmed Salman Rushdie 19 June 1947 (1947 06 19) (age 64) Bombay …   Wikipedia

  • Books and Magazines — backstory belligerati bibliotherapy blog book blurb whore bonkbuster bookling carnography …   New words

  • Iraqnophobia — (i.RAK.nuh.foh.bee.uh) n. An unusually strong fear of Iraq, especially its ability to manufacture and use biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons. Also: Iraqnaphobia, Iraqniphobia. Example Citation: Now that September is here, President Bush… …   New words

  • Media and Journalism — anniversary journalism anonymice anus envy back channel media barking head beat sweetener belligerati …   New words

  • Military — 9/11 Adlai Stevenson moment AOS asymmetric warfare belligerati bioterrorist blood diamonds capitulator …   New words

  • R2Per — (ar.too.PEE.ur) n. A person who believes in or implements the responsibility to protect (R2P) doctrine. Example Citations: R2Pers aren t just guilty of amnesia. They re also ignorant. They know less about the tribal politics of Libya than they do …   New words

  • barking head — n. A pundit or commentator who speaks in a loud voice and whose comments tend to be abrasive, aggressive, and partisan. Example Citation: Try finding a discussion of these issues on any news network. The barking heads who usurp the space of… …   New words

  • chatterati — (chat.uh.RAT.ty) n. The elite members of the chattering classes. Example Citation: While the London chatterati think a Labour landslide is a turn off, the Scottish middle classes are quite willing to participate in inevitable triumphs for the… …   New words

  • chicken hawk — (CHIK.un.hawk) n. A person who now advocates war but who once took special measures to avoid military service. Also: chicken hawk, chickenhawk. Example Citation: Well, it looks like the chicken hawks are at it again. These people who were too… …   New words

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