Tag Archives: discriminations
Trench talk

Trench talk

       The following article was published in the American Everybody’s Magazine of January 1918.   Trench Talk Some Characteristic Slang Creations of the Soldiers War is rich in new speech — so rich that in France, learned members of the French Academy have already begun to recognize, collect, and try to analyze some […]

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hidebound

hidebound

  Frontispiece to Sylva Sylvarum, Or, A Natural History, in Ten Centuries by Francis Bacon       The adjective hidebound means unwilling or unable to change because of tradition or convention.   The word dates back to the mid-16th century as a noun denoting a malnourished condition of cattle.   In Thesaurus Linguæ Romanæ […]

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dogsbody

dogsbody

            A dogsbody is a person who carries out menial tasks for others.   Originally, dog’s body was contemptuous naval slang for a pease-pudding boiled in a cloth.   The author of Life in an Indiaman, in Chambers’s Papers for the People (1851), explained: Peas-pudding (alias dog’s body) is often […]

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Lollard

Lollard

    John Wycliffe   John Wycliffe, or Wyclif, (1330?-84) was an English religious reformer. He criticized the wealth and power of the Church and upheld the Bible as the sole guide for doctrine. Wycliffe instituted the first English translation of the complete Bible. His teachings, regarded as precursors of the Reformation, were disseminated by itinerant preachers, contemptibly called Lollards. The Lollards believed that […]

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handicap

handicap

  A contraction of hand in cap, the word handicap dates back to the mid-17th century, and was originally the name of a betting game in which players put forfeit money in a cap or bag and then drew from it.   The game was described by J. S. Coyne in Notes and Queries, dated […]

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Welsh rabbit

    A light supper, of course. I am exceedingly fond of Welsh-rabbit. More than a pound at once, however, may not at all times be advisable. Still, there can be no material objection to two. And really between two and three, there is merely a single unit of difference. I ventured, perhaps, upon four. […]

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pedigree

pedigree

  Whooping Crane (Grus americana) from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia (1904)     The word pedigree appeared in the early 15th century in the Latin form pedicru and in English forms such as pe-de-grew and pedegru, from Anglo-Norman French pé de grue and variants (pied de grue in Modern French), meaning literally foot of crane. The Anglo-Norman French word is first recorded during the second Michaelmas term (i.e. […]

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The language of hatred

The language of hatred

  Anne-Sophie Leclère (right) with Marine Le Pen     The following facts are symptomatic of mounting xenophobia, racism and homophobia in France. Taboos are now being broken, and this is reflected in the language being used.   Christiane Taubira was born in 1952 in French Guiana. She is the Minister of Justice. The Front National, […]

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jingoism & chauvinism

jingoism & chauvinism

  Retour de Napoléon dans l’île de Lobau après la bataille d’Essling Charles Meynier     The English word jingo and the French word chauvin both apply to that ultra-patriotic section of the population which, in war-time, attends to the shouting.     Jingo first appeared in conjurors’ jargon of the 17th century. It was used in the oath […]

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The resistible rise of Marine Le Pen

The resistible rise of Marine Le Pen

   The new, reassuring face of old extremism     Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Gospel of Matthew – 7:15    The tricolour logo of Rassemblement Bleu Marine     The Front National, France’s main far-right party, was renamed Rassemblement Bleu Marine when Marine Le […]

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