Maverick

Something occurs to me about the word “Maverick”.  The definition of the word’s been bounching round the last week or two:

  • someone who exhibits great independence in thought and action
  • an unbranded range animal (especially a stray calf); belongs to the first person who puts a brand on it
  • irregular: independent in behavior or thought; “she led a somewhat irregular private life”; “maverick politicians”

Princeton Wordnet Search

Of course, it’s John “Get My Medication Or Motherfuckers Are Going To Get Called Cunts” McCain’s word of the year; he’s a maverick, his lunch is a Maverick, his VP’s a Maverick with tits (and a really hot pussy)…  but the last thing any presidential candidate wants to do is actually define meaning in their statements.  Which, given the stakes, would be understandable if they were in any concrete way held responsible for their claims.  Maverick’s one of those words that carries an impression with it that isn’t quite the definition.

When I think “maverick”, I think of someone who’s not afraid to bend the rules to get the job done.  Who doesn’t give a damn what people think, and dances round the law like Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon.  You won’t get hurt so long as you play the game his way.  Which sounds cool, until I realise that I’m actually thinking of the guy who’s been shitting in the White House toilets for the past eight years.  Maverick’s a tough, sexy word.  But not when used in reference to a leading official.