More about boondoggle
Boondoggle, originally a term from the Boy Scouts meaning “a product of simple manual skill, such as a plaited cord for the neck or a knife sheath, typically made by a Boy Scout,” was supposedly coined in the mid-1920s by Robert H. Link, of Rochester, New York, as a nickname for his infant son. In the summer of 1929, Link, a Scoutmaster, attended the World Boy Scouts Jamboree in Birkenhead, England, not far from Liverpool. Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII), attended the Jamboree, at which the Scouts from the U.S. presented him with a boondoggle, now meaning “a plaited leather cord or lanyard worn around the neck” (the presentation was reported in the American and British press). By the mid-1930s boondoggle had acquired the sense “a kind of make-work consisting of small items of leather or crafted by the jobless during the Great Depression.” This last sense is the source of the usual modern sense of boondoggle, “a wasteful and worthless project undertaken for political, corporate, or personal gain,” and it is especially used of government projects funded by taxpayers.