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Mar 29, 2004This week's theme
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A.Word.A.Daywith Anu Garg
From time to time I receive letters asking about a word featured in this newsletter: "Didn't you just make that one up?" No, I didn't. All words featured in AWAD are listed in at least one general-purpose dictionary. However, someone did use these words for the first time. So someone did coin them, though it's not always clear who that person was. On the other hand, many words have clear lineages that tell us who fathered them. This week we'll see examples of both kinds, all of them rather unusual words that make us wonder "Did someone just make them up?"
bushwa (BUSH-wa) noun, also bushwah
[Of uncertain origin. Perhaps a mispronunciation of bourgeois.]
"The tone of his (Antonin Scalia's) remarks suggested that the court had
never before moved social policy along by taking into account changing
social mores. Which is, alas, bushwa."
"I should've said that his good buddy's fury might be rooted in his own
insecurity; that beneath the bushwah about cool, chemistry and leadership
is another thin-skinned kid."
The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience. -Harper Lee, writer (b. 1926)
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