September 6, 2017

BEAUREGARDISM?:

Americans Are Confronting an Alarming Question: Are Many of Our Fellow Citizens 'Nazis?' (SASHA CHAPIN SEPT. 5, 2017, NY Times)

"Nazi" is a remarkable example of the very different routes a word can take through the world. In this case, that word is the Latin name "Ignatius." In Spanish, it followed a noble path: It became Ignacio, and then the nickname Nacho, and then -- after a Mexican cook named Ignacio Anaya had a moment of inspiration -- it became delicious, beloved nachos. In Bavaria, a much darker transformation took place. Ignatius became the common name Ignatz, or in its abbreviated form, Nazi. In the early 20th century, Bavarian peasants were frequent subjects of German mockery, and "Nazi" became the archetypal name for a comic figure: a bumbling, dimwitted yokel. "Just as Irish jokes always involve a man called Paddy," the etymologist Mark Forsyth writes in his 2011 book "The Etymologicon," "so Bavarian jokes always involved a peasant called Nazi." When Adolf Hitler's party emerged from Bavaria with a philosophy called "Nationalsozialismus," two of that word's syllables were quickly repurposed by Hitler's cosmopolitan opponents. They started calling the new party Nazis -- implying, to the Nazis' great displeasure, that they were all backward rubes.

Posted by at September 6, 2017 7:59 PM

  

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