Churchill coined 'queuetopia' to mock Labour Party
I visited Disneyland over Thanksgiving and had a great time with the fam. The lines were long, as usual, providing plenty of time to listen to surrounding conversations. Waiting in one particularly long line for a ride, I heard someone use the word "queuetopia." Do the wordsmiths at the Mail Tribune have any idea where its origins lie?
— Randy R., via email
Winston Churchill, whose command of the English language was unrivaled until his death in 1965, coined the word while he was a member of the minority party and reduced to leading the shadow government in Parliament's House of Commons.
After leading Great Britain through its lowest ebb when the previous government collapsed in 1939, Churchill was prime minister in a wartime unified government until the Allies secured victory in 1945. During the post-war elections, however, the socialist Labour Party won a general election, pushing Churchill and his cabinet out of office. The Labour Party could never solve Britain's post-war woes, even adding to them, in Churchill's estimation. During the 1950 general election campaign, Churchill's sharp tongue and wit tore through his foes time and again.
On one such occasion, Jan. 28, 1950, Conservative Party candidate Churchill, in a speech in Woodford, Essex, hammered at the "queuetopia" Labour had developed throughout the country, with shortages of nearly every commodity leading to long lines.
Send questions to Since You Asked, Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to email@example.com. To see a collection of columns, go to mailtribune.com/youasked. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.