self-licking ice cream cone n. a process, department, institution, or other thing that offers few benefits and exists primarily to justify or perpetuate its own existence. Also in the form self-licking lollipop. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

Tagged with →  

1 Response

  1. There’s a reference to this term in Richard Clarke’s book Against All Enemies.  Right after the 9/11 attacks, Clarke and another staffer were walking between buildings at the White House: the other one said to Clarke “there’s your self-licking ice-cream cone” (in this case he meant ‘now that these attacks have happened, we’ll finally get some attention on bin Laden, al Qaeda, etc.  In other words, our relevance is more than obvious now.’  Note the slightly different use than those cites above.)

Leave a Reply