Quid pro Joe

From the Washington Examiner, “[REDACTED] campaign calls Biden ‘Quid Pro Joe’ and says whistleblower is ‘in favor of one of the corrupt 2020 Democrats’” by Mike Brest on 9/29/19:

The [Helmet Grabpussy] campaign flipped the script on allegations of a “quid pro quo” between President [Grabpussy] and Ukraine, instead labeling former Vice President Joe Biden as “Quid Pro Joe” and alleging the whistleblower is politically motivated.

Ah, a political pun, based on what was once a Latin term mostly from the legal and political worlds, but is now a more generally used plain English noun /kwɪdprokwó/ (with a regular plural, /kwɪdprokwóz/.

The noun. From NOAD:

noun quid pro quo: a favor or advantage granted or expected in return for something: the pardon was a quid pro quo for their help in releasing hostages. ORIGIN mid 16th century (denoting a medicine substituted for another): Latin, ‘something for something’.

A nice minimal semantic contrast here with the expression tit for tat, in noun, adverbial, or adjectival uses:

NOAD: noun tit-3 (in phrase tit for tat): the infliction of an injury or insult in return for one that one has suffered: [as modifier]: the conflict staggered on with tit-for-tat assassinations. ORIGIN mid 16th century: variant of obsolete tip for tap.

From OED3 (Jan. 2018), cites for tit for tat as n., adv., adj.:

noun: 2011 J. C. Hormel & E. Martin Fit to Serve xvi. 217 As we struggled for those last two votes, the tit for tat continued.

adv.: 2004 N.Y. Times 24 Apr.  a8/1 The diplomat..is the sixth Russian diplomat expelled for espionage this year… In each case Russia has retaliated tit for tat.

(attributive) adj.: 2003 Eastern Eye 14 Feb. 19/1 India and Pakistan staged tit-for-tat expulsions of their top diplomats on Saturday.

The contrast between quid pro quo and tit for tat is neatly exploited in a cartoon about someone who’s not sure they can afford quid pro quo, but wonders how much some tit for tat would be. (The cartoon is by an artist I have posted about a number of times, but their work is now on a fee site that requires payment for downloading or reproduction, so I can only allude indirectly to their work. There are actually a fair number of excellent quid pro quo cartoons out there, but I haven’t found any I could use without payment.)

Another quid pro quo pun. In my 5/20/17 posting “Squid Pro Quo”, four cartoons making this pun. Black ink, tentacles, and calamari.

And yet another. From the Washington City Paper this year, a look back at 1994 and quit pro quo in D.C.:

quit ‘resign from a position’ pro ‘for, on account of, because of’ quo ‘that (published material)’

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