Is It Nothinglitti or Nothingdabeli?
Nothingburger, whether used as a single word, hyphenated or even two, is regaining currency in the US after a long time, much like Jane Austen is back in circulation in the UK thanks to the new £10 note. Considering the US is the homeland of the patty-and-bun combination, the negative prefix should have guaranteed its failure. But not only was it a favourite of authors, politicians and society gossip columnists up to the 1980s, it appears to have been ironically revived in popular discourse thanks to the Trump Administration’s penchant for new or little-used words. The term, of course, has nothing to do with burgers, but the allusion to that allAmerican staple presumably ensures a popular connect when regurgitated by politicians and the media. The term, however, may also find a sudden resonance in India given that the definition of the term is “something of less importance than its treatment suggests”. The Indian political arena abounds with such phenomena at present that need succinct terms. The nothingburger could easily inspire Indian variants such as a nothinglitti — the beloved Bihari stuffed dough ball that if found to be bereft of a filling, disappoints aficionados. Nothingdabeli, nothingsamosa, nothingkachori or nothingdosa would be equally evocative when describing certain shenanigans in their parts of India.