An idea someone should’ve nipped in the bud

“”The WPA gave its enemies more ammunition than they needed in tiny Mount Airy, North Carolina, when workers there built a lake that proved not to have a water source.

“Sardonic stories in the press described the 200-yard-long, 40-foot-thick dam of native rock and concrete holding back a six-inch puddle, the order placed for 30,000 fish to stock the lake and the town residents who had built boats in anticipation of going fishing.”

–From “American-Made: The Enduring Legacy of the WPA” by Nick Taylor (2008)

Such questionable New Deal projects came to be known as “boondoggles” — check out the word’s colorful origins.