Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


A.Word.A.Day

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  


Home

Today's Word

Yesterday's Word

Archives

FAQ


This week's theme
Eponyms

This week's words
churrigueresque
Mata Hari
rachmanism
mausoleum
martinet

Missed a word?
Check the archives
chronological
alphabetical
thematic
or
search the site
Newsy anagrams
All the news that's
fit to anagram
The Anagram Times
Discuss
Feedback
RSS/XML
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

rachmanism

PRONUNCIATION:
(RAK-muh-niz-uhm)

MEANING:
noun: The exploitation and intimidation of tenants by landlords.

ETYMOLOGY:
After Peter Rachman (1919-1962), a landlord in London who became notorious for unethical practices including driving out tenants to maximize revenue from his rental properties. Another fellow who got his name in the dictionary for harassing tenants is Charles Boycott (1832-1897), a British land agent in Ireland, whose mistreatment of tenants resulted in his getting ostracized, i.e. he was boycotted.

USAGE:
"It is a story of pure Rachmanism. She had been threatened, had her rent cheque refused, her electricity cut off, and seen her absent neighbours' flats cleared of all their possessions, while rubbish was dumped outside her door."
Peter Beaumont; Drowned City Cuts Its Poor Adrift; The Observer (London, UK); Dec 11, 2005.

NOTES:
The term Rachmanism is a Britishism, though unscrupulous landlords are found everywhere. The above usage example is from the UK, but even if not mentioned, it'd be easy to tell: in just one sentence it manages to include four examples that illustrate the spelling and vocabulary differences between British English and American English:
cheque/check, neighbour/neighbor, flat/apartment, and rubbish/trash.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
I find it difficult to feel responsible for the suffering of others. That's why I find war so hard to bear. It's the same with animals: I feel the less harm I do, the lighter my heart. I love a light heart. And when I know I'm causing suffering, I feel the heaviness of it. It's a physical pain. So it's self-interest that I don't want to cause harm. -Alice Walker, author (b. 1944)

A.Word.A.Day by email:

Subscribe

"The most welcomed, most enduring piece of daily mass e-mail in cyberspace."

The New York Times

Sponsored by:

Give the Gift of Words

Share the magic of words. Send a gift subscription of A.Word.A.Day.

Anu on Words:
Writer Magazine
Globe & Mail

Interact:

Bulletin board
Wordsmith Talk

Moderated Chat
Wordsmith Chat

Readers' Voice
AWADmail

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 2014 Wordsmith