Many of us, well certainly me anyway, despise the tabloid press and feel quite vindicated that the screws are finally turning on them in the light of the recent phone hacking scandals. However did you know where the word tabloid came from? I didn’t!
Sir Henry Wellcome the Pharmacist and Entrepreneur was the person who invented the word Tabloid when he trademarked it in 1884. It was used to describe medicine in tablet form. The word was used by Burroughs, Wellcome and Co; a company set up by Sir Henry with his friend Silas Burroughs in 1880. The company was among the first to manufacture and sell medicine in compressed tablet form. Prior to that medicine was mostly used in much bulkier powder form.
The word became linked in popular language with anything that was reduced in size for easier consumption. The phrase tabloid journalism first appeared in 1901 some 17 years before the name was actually applied to a newspaper itself.
And finally, enjoy some classic tabloid headlines which might even contain a tiny element of truth. Did you know they have removed gullible from the dictionary?