Tag Archives: military
freelance

freelance

    The term freelance appeared, as two words and in the sense of a medieval mercenary, in Walter Scott’s novel Ivanhoe (1819). In chapter 34, Scott wrote: “It is truth itself”, said De Bracy. “I was his prisoner, and spoke with him”. “With Richard Plantagenet, sayest thou?” continued Fitzurse. “With Richard Plantagenet”, replied De […]

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forlorn hope

forlorn hope

    MEANING   a persistent or desperate hope that is unlikely to be fulfilled, a faint hope, a ‘hope against hope’     ORIGIN   On the face of it, this is a curious expression, because the adjective forlorn does not normally mean faint but miserable, lonely, forsaken or sad. The current sense of forlorn hope derives either from wordplay or from a misunderstanding of […]

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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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