The Real Original Maverick

The Real Original Maverick


The word “maverick” has long been used to describe John McCain. His campaign has even embraced the term, labeling the senator “the original maverick.” I’m not sure what they mean by “original,” but I do know they’re wrong. Maverick – the word and the family that made the word part of our lexicon – comes straight out of South Texas.

Since a political campaign can hardly be expected to provide a linguistic lesson in its promotional materials, I’ve been meaning to share the Maverick story. Fortunately for me, Jan Jarboe Russell of the San Antonio Express News published a great column yesterday detailing how the Maverick family of San Antonio became the original, original mavericks.

If you like a little history with your language, give the column a read. Don’t mind the negative slant towards McCain. The history is still quite interesting.

  • U.S. Common Sense

    Thanks for bringing the article to my attention. I doubt I would have ever seen it otherwise. I always find it interesting how someone’s name or an unrelated word can gain a new definition due to events that occur. Personally, I thought the origin of the word was much older than 1835. Just goes to show that you learn something new every day! Thanks again!

  • Fontaine Maverick

    Last week I got a call from my brother, Maury Maverick, who said that if he hears that John McCain is a Maverick ONE MORE TIME, he is going to shoot the tv. Well, my brother doesn’t even own a gun, but I know exactly how he feels. Every time we hear that use of our name, it is like fingernails on a blackboard times ten. I decided to do a little web page about my grandfather:
    Jan’s article about my grandfather is fantastic- also check out the one by Rick Casey in the Houston Chronicle.