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860089.  Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:42 am Reply with quote

I guess quite a few people will know that jingoism meaning excessive nationalistic zeal entered the language as a result of, but not directly from, a popular music hall song written by G.W. Hunt, and sung by "Gilbert H. MacDermott" (1845-1901)

We don't want to fight but by Jingo if we do
We've got the ships, we've got the men, we've got the money too
We've fought the Bear before, and while we're Britons true
The Russians shall not have Constantinople.

You're rather less likely to be able to tell me

"How did Hollyoaks' mindless, gung-ho patriot make it into the dictionary?"

The trick here being that the gentleman who coined the word jingoism went by the name of George Holyoake. A discussion in the Daily News in mid March 1878* had spawned the word Jingoes and Holyoake took it the extra step to jingoism. He seems to have been fond of -isms as he was also responsible for the word secularism.

He was also the last person in England and Wales to be convicted of blasphemy in a public lecture. From the sounds of it he 'lost it' during questions at the end but that's just a guess. At any rate he spent six months in jail for his agnosticism.

* Actually after the Russo-Turkish War, to which the song pertains, had ended.

860285.  Sat Oct 29, 2011 5:34 am Reply with quote


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