Word for Wednesday: Bandwagon

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If you ‘jump on the bandwagon’ it means that you are joining a growing movement just as it is seen to be becoming successful. Another phrase with a similar meaning is ‘following the crowd’.

Bandwagon’ was first used in the USA in the mid 19th century to describe the brightly decorated wagon that carried a circus band. By parading these wagons through the town, circuses were able to attract and excite large audiences of followers from the general public, and by the late 19th century, politicians began to use bandwagons when campaigning for office in the hope of attracting large crowds to their ideals.

In 1899, Theodore Roosevelt outright referred to the figurative practice of ‘jumping the bandwagon’ in his Letters:

"When I once became sure of one majority they tumbled over each other to get aboard the band wagon.

26 Nov 2015
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