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Home > World

McJob means a bad job and it's derived from McDonalds burger chain

Alan Connor is not lovin' it.

12 November 2003

Oh for crying out loud. [ BBC News via Paste Magazine ]

McDonald's has expressed its outrage over how the latest Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary describes job prospects at the US fast-food giant.

In its latest edition, the dictionary defines the term McJob as "low-paying and dead-end work".

McDonald's CEO Jim Cantalupo dismissed the term as "an inaccurate description of restaurant employment".

Okay, one more time:

  • McJobs are not just restaurant jobs. But McDonalds depressed wages in the catering industry and are one of the higher-profile employers in demeaning work.
  • Dictionaries record how people use words. If Anglophones come up with a word for a crap job, and it catches on, the dictionary has to report that. Which is a good thing. Don't shoot the messenger.
  • And we've been here before, with the OED. Enough. Basta. The End.

McJob n. colloq. (freq. derog) [the name of the McDonalds chain of fast-food restaurants, regarded as a typical source of such employment + JOB n. Prob. not a direct reference to the programme mentioned in quot. 1985, but rather based on McDonalds' general practice of using Mc- as a preformative element in a range of proprietary product names] A poorly paid job with few prospects, esp. one taken by an overqualified worker because of a shortage of other prospects or lack of ambition.

Meanwhile, in other Words News, I got an email today declaring These p1lls will make you curn on h3r face like a p0rn star. It's nice to see this lovely old Scottish word back again, even if it's being used ungrammatically. A better citation:

‘For there is na gentlemen, nor yet pretty lads,
But a curn o’ hired widdifu’s, wears belted plaids.’

--The Baron of Brackley

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