What does pretzel logic mean?
Pretzel logic is an expression used to describe someone’s “twisted reasoning.”
Where does pretzel logic come from?
A classic pretzel is circular, full of holes, and twists in on itself—just like faulty reasoning. Hence the (delicious) expression, pretzel logic. The term is evidenced by at least 1967 in American Opinion, a magazine of the far-right, anticommunist John Birch Society.
Pretzel logic is used to describe inconsistent, illogical thinking that, once scrutinized, doesn’t stand up. It’s similar to the term illogic.
Indeed, the phrase pretzel logic frequently appears in political contexts, used in an effort to call out opponents’ logical fallacies or to characterize someone’s twisted line of reasoning or justifications.
Pretzel logic from the president's attorney.
The one not going to prison. https://t.co/D53JqTq5c6
— Victoria Brownworth (@VABVOX) April 4, 2019
The term spread in the 1980–90s, but it is closely associated with the acclaimed 1974 album and title track Pretzel Logic by rock band Steely Band. The song is, apparently, about reckoning with the passage of time.
— ﾋｹﾞｵﾄｺ@(ΦωΦ)みたいなもの🍣 (@higem26) May 6, 2019
Examples of pretzel logic
Who uses pretzel logic?
Arguments that are convoluted or seen as such are popularly characterized as pretzel logic, especially in political contexts.
Puns abound around pretzel logic, especially in food contexts, and the phrase has been used for grabby headlines.
I am starting a movement to say the same lie over and over until it is believed as truth. Rudy said, and I quote”There is no truth”. And he appears to be an intelligent person. So “There is no truth” is my mantra until it becomes truth. LOL pretzel logic with an evil twist.
— charles (@charles15422075) March 18, 2019
Additionally, searches for pretzel logic quickly lead to all things Steely Dan.
I think the first I actually went out to a record store to buy with my own money was Steely Dan's "Pretzel Logic". ?1974
— 𝔸𝕟𝕥𝕙𝕠𝕟𝕪 𝕄𝕒𝕣𝕜𝕤 🇪🇺 🤝 🇫🇷 🤝 🇬🇧 (@theboymarks) March 11, 2019
This is not meant to be a formal definition of pretzel logic like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of pretzel logic that will help our users expand their word mastery.