Blurbs were originally printed on the back or rear dust-jacket of a book, and are now found on DVD and video cases, web portals, and news websites. A blurb may introduce a newspaper or magazine feature story.
The word was coined in 1907 by American humorist Gelett Burgess (1866–1951). His short 1906 book Are You a Bromide? was presented in a limited edition to an annual trade association dinner. The custom at such events was to have a dust jacket promoting the work and with, as Burgess' publisher B. W. Huebsch described it,
"the picture of a damsel—languishing, heroic, or coquettish—anyhow, a damsel on the jacket of every novel"In this case the jacket proclaimed "YES, this is a 'BLURB'!" and the picture was of a (fictitious) young woman "Miss Belinda Blurb" shown calling out, described as "in the act of blurbing."
The name and term stuck for any publisher's contents on a book's back cover, even after the picture was dropped and only the text remained.
In Germany, the blurb it is regarded to have been invented by Karl Robert Langewiesche around 1902. In German bibliographic usage, it is usually located on the second page of the book underneath the Half title, or on the dust cover