Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh often had callers who were very happy to be on the air to talk with him; Limbaugh would tell the callers “ditto,” or that he was also happy to talk with them. Limbaugh’s listeners and callers were soon called “dittoheads” (or “ditto heads"). A typical caller greeting evolved into “megadittos.”
“Dittohead” is cited in print since 1989. A liberal definition of a “dittohead” is someone who agrees with everything that Rush Limbaugh says and can’t think for himself or herself, but that is not the original use of the term. The term “dittohead” is used almost exclusively on the Rush Limbaugh Show and mostly hasn’t been used on other political shows or blogs.
The Rush Limbaugh Show
The Rush Limbaugh Show (also called The Rush Limbaugh Program) is an American talk radio show hosted by Rush Limbaugh on Premiere Radio Networks. Since its inception on August 1, 1988, The Rush Limbaugh Show has become the highest-rated talk radio show in the United States.
Show airtime and format
The Rush Limbaugh Show has a format which has remained basically unchanged since the program began. The program airs live and primarily consists of Limbaugh’s own monologues, based on the news of the day, interspersed with parody ads, phone calls from listeners and a variety of running comedy bits (some live, some taped). Limbaugh also does a few live commercials during the show for certain sponsors, and he also sometimes promotes his own products, such as his political newsletter, The Limbaugh Letter. He only occasionally features guests, but once in a while a politician or a fellow political commentator will appear on the show. An 800 number is announced for incoming calls from listeners. However, Limbaugh generally takes far fewer calls per show than most other national talk programs.
The listeners to the show are affectionately referred to as “Ditto-heads.” Early in the show’s run, Limbaugh began to use the variations on the expression “ditto” to speed up the beginnings of the calls, which typically (as on most popular call-in shows) tend to open with the listener excitedly expressing his or her gratitude to the host and his or her appreciation of the show.
Limbaugh uses his own on-air jargon, some of which he invented and some of which he popularized. Notable examples include:
“Dittoheads” (Faithful listeners to The Rush Limbaugh Show. Note this does not necessarily confer agreement with Rush’s positions or thinking. The origin is one caller who went to great lengths to tell Rush they listen attentatively to the show, and the next caller said something to the effect of “ditto to what he just said")
A listener to the Rush Limbaugh Show that doesn’t necessarily agree with everything Rush says, but appreciates and enjoys the show nonetheless.
Even though I disagree with some of the Undeniable Truths of Life, I’m still a dittohead.
by Naveen Sep 15, 2005
Any person who loves the Rush Limbaugh radio show. Ditto heads totally agree with Rush’s opinions and stand behind him without question. The word ditto was first used by a caller on his show who agreed with the accolades given Rush by a previous caller. The praise Rush was given by callers was becoming too long winded and Rush promoted the use of ditto by his callers as a means to be brief and to show their approval at the same time.
I really love Rush Limbaugh so I guess you could call me a (ditto head).
by A.B. Reid Sep 30, 2005
25 November 1989, Los Angeles (CA) Times, pg. 1:
Many Limbaugh fans—or “dittoheads,” as he calls them—are willing to dish out fistfuls of cash for Limbaugh T-shirts, satin jackets, “dittohead” mugs and “Rush to Excellence” videocassettes.
New York (NY) Times
The Rush Hours
Lewis Grossberger, who was a columnist for 7 Days, is the author of “Read My Clips: Media Person Cuts Up,” to be published by Random House in the Spring.
Published: December 16, 1990
This year he stands to make about $360,000 from a total of 45 shows, not counting the sale of Limbaugh’s signature “Dittohead” T-shirts, caps and mugs.
Limbaugh does a guest shot with a WFLA talk host, Mark Larson. “Megadittos and a hearty welcome to the bay area,” says Clete from Tampa, obviously a fan, as the calls begin rolling in.
As usual with Rush Limbaugh, it was hard to tell whether he was joking or serious. As usual, the answer was probably both.
UNDERSTANDING RUSHIAN A handy lexicon of puzzling words, expressions and songs frequently heard on “The Rush Limbaugh Show.”
Ditto: A time-saving greeting used by callers to avoid tedious repetition of the obvious, for example, “You’re wonderful, Rush, and I agree with everything you’ve ever said.”
Dittohead: A Limbaugh fan.
Google Groups: alt.fan.rush-limbaugh
From: (David E. Thomas)
Date: 5 Sep 91 15:08:45 GMT
Local: Thurs, Sep 5 1991 10:08 am
Subject: Re: Rush thinks (was Re: Evolution is a fact)
Of course the net.ditto-heads will be quick to point out that it is all in jest. Perhaps. But if he were indeed interested in having us think for ourselves he would not push this routine as far as he does. In any event, whether he intends it as humor or not, he must be aware that many of the ditto heads take him seriously on it.
Google Groups: alt.fan-rush-limbaugh
Date: 18 Sep 91 18:16:26 GMT
Local: Wed, Sep 18 1991 1:16 pm
Subject: Re: DITTOS?
In article <9109121853.AA19...@mozart.unx.sas.com>, (Gantt Edmiston) writes:
> Can someone inform me as to the meaning of the the term
> DITTOHEAD and/or mega dittos?
It means, “Rush, I think you are the greatest thing since sliced bread. Don’t change” or words to that affect.
Stories from National Public Radio
By Andrei Codrescu
New York, NY: Picador USA
The other day in Colorado, 20,000 people showed up at a bake sale for Rush Limbaugh, calling themselves Ditto-Heads because they have no thoughts of their own, only a voice that says “Ditto” every time Rush speaks.
New York City • Government/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Thursday, August 26, 2010 • Permalink