Drinking The Kool-Aid

Time for our bi-monthly linguistic minute. “Drinking the Kool-Aid” — now there’s an expression I didn’t know the origins of!
Wikipedia to the rescue:

The idiomatic expression drinking the Kool-Aid is a reference to the 1978 cult mass-suicide in Jonestown, Guyana. Jim Jones, the leader of the group, convinced his followers to move to Jonestown. Late in the year he then ordered his flock to commit suicide by drinking grape-flavored Flavor Aid laced with potassium cyanide. In what is now commonly called “the Jonestown Massacre”, 913 of the 1100 Jonestown residents drank the brew and died. (The discrepancy between the idiom and the actual occurrence is likely due to Flavor Aid’s relative obscurity versus the easily recognizable Kool-Aid.)

Well I’ll be. You’d be surprised how many people are still drinking the Kool-Aid by the way.

One Response to “Drinking The Kool-Aid”

  1. kzdarwin says:

    Maybe it’s my age, but I always took it as a reference to the Acid Tests of the 1960s in San Fransisco, and other locations, wherein large tubs or plastic cans of fruit flavored drink were spiked with LSD for all to consume (as described in Tom Wolfe’s book “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test”.) But, the Jonestown link does make more sense in the context of current usage, I suppose.

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