Jump on the Bandwagon

This year I'm taking part in the Dog Days of Summer Podcasting Challenge, a fun little project where people around the world try to publish a new show every day for 30-ish days. Today is the sixth episode of the arc, and we'll look at the phrase "jump on the bandwagon" … something that a lot of long-time supporters of a cause can find irritating.

The word bandwagon was coined in the USA in the mid 19th century, simply as the name for the wagon that carried a circus band. Phineas T. Barnum, the great showman and circus owner, used the term in 1855 in his unambiguously named autobiography "The Life of P.T. Barnum, Written by Himself", in 1855. I go into a bit of an aside on the language of Phineas, but the story behind the actual phrase in question is no less interesting.