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A.Word.A.Day--zabernism

Pronunciation RealAudio

zabernism (ZAB-uhr-niz-uhm) noun

The misuse of military power; aggression; bullying.

[After Zabern, German name for Saverne, a village in Alsace, France. In 1912, in this village, a German military officer wounded a lame cobbler who laughed at him.]

"Both countries have been slaves to Kruppism and Zabernism--because they were sovereign and free! So it will always be. So long as patriotic cant can keep the common man jealous of international controls over his belligerent possibilities, so long will he be the helpless slave of the foreign threat, and 'Peace' remain a mere name for the resting phase between wars."
H.G. Wells; In The Fourth Year: Anticipations of a World Peace; 1918.

And what is Kruppism? It's an eponym, coined after Alfred Krupp (1812-1887), German industrialist and armament manufacturer. It implies indiscriminate trade in arms and war profiteering.

This week's theme: Toponyms (words derived from the names of places)

X-Bonus

What you do is of little significance; but it is very important that you do it. -Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948)

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