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Feb 24, 2021
This week’s theme
Toponyms

This week’s words
Queenborough mayor
borstal
Poplarism
Shrewsbury clock
Scarborough warning

poplarism
A mural commemorating the Poplar Rates Rebellion (detail)
Photo: Ceridwen / Wikimedia

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Poplarism

PRONUNCIATION:
(POP-luh-riz-uhm)

MEANING:
noun: The policy of giving generous compensation, benefits, unemployment relief, etc.

ETYMOLOGY:
After Poplar, a district in London, where in 1921 the mayor, George Lansbury, and the council decided to use the tax money to provide relief to the poor instead of sending it to London. The mayor and councilors were imprisoned for contempt of court and the incident is known as the Poplar Rates Rebellion. Rate is the British term for property tax. Earliest documented use: 1922.

USAGE:
“Poplarism sought to unite the unemployed and employed by establishing a discourse, embodied in policy, that no working person should be allowed to fall below a level set by a measure of human need.”
Gerry Mooney, Michael Lavalette; Class Struggle and Social Welfare; Routledge; 2000.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Come, live in my heart and pay no rent. -Samuel Lover, songwriter, composer, novelist, and artist (24 Feb 1797-1868)

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