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Bang for the buck is an
idiom An idiom is a phrase or expression that typically presents a figurative language, figurative, non-literal meaning (linguistic), meaning attached to the phrase; but some phrases become figurative idioms while retaining the literal meaning of the ph ...
meaning the worth of one's money or exertion. The phrase originated from the slang usage of the words "bang" which means "excitement" and "buck" which means "money". Variations of the term include "bang for your buck," "bang for one's buck," "more bang for the buck," "bigger bang for the buck," and mixings of these. "More bang for the buck" was preceded by "more bounce to the ounce", an advertising slogan used in 1950 to market the carbonated soft drink
Pepsi Pepsi is a carbonated soft drink A soft drink (see § Terminology for other names) is a drink that usually contains carbonated water (although some vitamin waters and lemonades are not carbonated), a sweetener, and a natural and/or arti ...
. The phrase "bigger bang for the buck" was notably used by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower's
Secretary of Defense A defence minister or minister of defence is a cabinet official position in charge of a ministry of defense, which regulates the armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force ...
, Charles Erwin Wilson, in 1954. He used it to describe the New Look policy of depending on nuclear weapons, rather than a large regular army, to keep the Soviet Union in check. Today, the phrase is used to mean a greater worth for the money used. !4$ is sometimes used as a shorthand version.


History and usage

William Safire William Lewis Safir (December 17, 1929 – September 27, 2009), better known as William SafireSafire, William (1986). ''Take My Word for It: More on Language.'' Times Books. . p. 185. (), was an American author, columnist, journalist, and presiden ...
discussed "bang for the buck" in his 1968 book, ''New Language of Politics''. Safire stated that U.S. Secretary of Defense Charles Erwin Wilson used the phrase in 1954 to summarize the New Look policy. The New Look, a 1950s national security policy during the administration of
President President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) A president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group. The relationship between a president and a Chief Executive Officer, chi ...
Dwight D. Eisenhower, was called "more bang for the buck" and "bigger bang for the buck". "More bang for the buck" was also used in the late 1960s by the U.S. military to refer to how it wanted to receive more combat power from the armaments it possessed. The United States, instead of supporting a large regular army, increasingly depended on nuclear weapons to hold the Soviet Union in check. "Bigger bang for the buck" is similar to the phrase "more bounce to the ounce", an advertising catchphrase used in 1950 by
PepsiCo PepsiCo, Inc. is an American multinational corporation, multinational food, snack, and beverage corporation headquartered in Harrison, New York, in the hamlet of Purchase, New York, Purchase. PepsiCo has interests in the manufacturing, marketing ...
to market its soft drink product
Pepsi Pepsi is a carbonated soft drink A soft drink (see § Terminology for other names) is a drink that usually contains carbonated water (although some vitamin waters and lemonades are not carbonated), a sweetener, and a natural and/or arti ...
. Sometimes the phrase is used to mean "a better value for the money spent".


Criticism

The word "bang" is slang for "sexual intercourse". Hence the phrase "bang for the buck" has the slang meaning of "sexual intercourse for money". As a result, the use of this phrase, including a variety of adjectives preceding the word bang, to supposedly describe a subsequent action, has been deemed extremely offensive by some. This interpretation led to a formal request made to the educational arm of a major IT corporation to not have any of their instructors use this phrase. In 2001, author Matthew L. Stone wrote that the phrase "has been overused almost to the point of becoming meaningless". In her 2010 book ''The Trouble with Thinking'', Lauren Powers wrote that whenever she hears the
cliché A cliché ( or ) is an element of an artistic work, saying, or idea that has become overused to the point of losing its original meaning or effect, even to the point of being trite or irritating, especially when at some earlier time it was consid ...
"bigger bang for the buck", she becomes "distracted" by the phrase's history and cannot continue paying attention to the speaker's words.


See also

* Consumer choice *
Value added In business, the difference between the sale price and the production cost of a product is the unit profit (accounting), profit. In economics, the sum of the unit profit, the unit depreciation cost, and the unit labor cost is the unit value adde ...


References

;Notes ;Bibliography * * * * * * * * * {{refend American culture American English idioms United States defense policymaking