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View Diary: Martin Bashir of MSNBC vs Joe Walsh (R Ill) Bashir Hits It Out Of The Ballpark (150 comments)

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  •  I suppose "to gyp" isn't racist, either? (1+ / 0-)
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    Okay, first off I am not calling anyone a racist. Just a little "fun with etymology" kind of thing. I had heard from a Welsh-American that it was racist against the Welsh.

    What is the etymology of the word welch? Most dictionaries I looked in (and I looked in a few before I wrote the previous post) said it is a derogatory term derived from Welsh. Like "to gyp" someone is an insult against gypsies, suggesting all gypsies rip people off, "to welch" is an insult to the Welsh and suggests they all go back on their word.

    Where do you think the word came from? You really think it's just a coincidence that it sounds like the name of an oppressed people?

    •  Actually, no one really knows where the (2+ / 0-)
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      ER Doc, WheninRome

      phrase/term comes from but it appears that it refers to English bookies who crossed the border into Wales to avoid their debts. Or at least gained currency at the time that practice was common.

    •  By all accounts (2+ / 0-)
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      StellaRay, JVolvo

      to "Welch" or "Welsh" on a debt is a reference to Wales, just as to gyp is a reference to Gypsies, but IMO not one in ten casual users now would even think of the roots of the words.

      They are cases where the modern usage has transcended the origins. Kind of like the term to "cross the Rubicon" How many people know that the Rubicon is a river or "beyond the pale" references the land beyond a "Pale" of demarcation as in the The Pale of Settlement in Russia or Dublin?

      "But much to my surprise when I opened my eyes I was the victim of the great compromise." John Prine

      by high uintas on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 03:45:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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