The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mojo mystery for Rumsfeld

Washington, Oct. 31 (Reuters): US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld said yesterday he does not know whether or not he has lost his mojo, as a leading news magazine suggested, because he doesn’t really know what mojo is.

“Is Rumsfeld Losing His Mojo'” was the headline in Time magazine above a story about Rumsfeld’s recent difficulties concerning Iraq policy and differences with US lawmakers.

“Have you lost your mojo'” a reporter asked Rumsfeld during a Pentagon briefing. Rumsfeld said he did not consult a dictionary — as he has for words like slog about which he has sparred with reporters — but he spoke with an aide who had.

“And they asked me that, and I said: ‘I don’t know what it means.’ And they said: ‘In 1926 or something, it had to do with jazz music.’” Rumsfeld added: “And I guess the answer is that beauty’s in the eye of the beholder. I don’t know enough about mojo to know.”

The Webster’s New World Dictionary defines mojo as “a charm or amulet thought to have magic powers,” or “power, luck, etc., as of magical or supernatural origin.”

The word is thought to be of Creole origin.

Mojo has most recently come into popular culture in connection with the Austin Powers movies, starring Mike Myers, in which mojo was portrayed as the secret behind the title character’s libido.

At one point, Myers complains: “Crikey, I’ve lost my mojo!”

Legendary blues singer Muddy Waters also famously sang in the 1960’s: “I got my mojo working, but it just won’t work on you.”

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