Etymology
Advertisement

potboiler (n.)

also pot-boiler, 1864 in the figurative sense of "literary or artistic work produced hastily and merely for providing the necessities of life," from pot (n.1) + agent noun from boil (v.). The notion is of something one writes solely to "keep the pot boiling," that is, put food on the table.

updated on September 23, 2020

Advertisement
Advertisement
Definitions of potboiler from WordNet

potboiler (n.)
a literary composition of poor quality that was written quickly to make money (to boil the pot);
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.