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Jan 24, 2023
This week’s theme
Words borrowed from other languages

This week’s words
ikigai
chaebol
cosh
ombudsman
toco

chaebol
Samsung headquarters
Samsung Town
Seoul, South Korea

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

chaebol

PRONUNCIATION:
(CHAY/JAY-bol/buhl)

MEANING:
noun: A large conglomerate of businesses, tightly controlled by a person or a family.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Korean chaebol, from chae (wealth) + bol (faction), modeled after Japanese zaibatsu, by the use of Korean pronunciations of the two Chinese characters with which the word zaibatsu is formed. Earliest documented use: 1972.

NOTES:
Samsung, as an example, has its hands in electronics, shipbuilding, insurance, construction, theme parks, retail, advertising, and more. A person or family doesn’t necessarily own a chaebol or even own a majority stake in it. How do they control it then? See this article.

USAGE:
“A chaebol of some two dozen oligarchs ... lorded over Armenia’s privatization, rendering it into the most monopolized economy in the former USSR.”
Alexander Clapp; Prisoner of the Caucasus; The National Interest (Washington, DC); Mar/Apr 2017.

“If there were true states’ rights in this country, California wouldn’t have to shell out for farm subsidies to Iowa, welfare to Kentucky, or security expenses for the Trump family chaebol.”
Liz Roth; Federal, State Taxes: Who Supports Whom?; The Wall Street Journal (New York); Jun 8, 2017.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast, To soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak. -William Congreve, dramatist (24 Jan 1670-1729)

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