Hustings

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Dr. Goodword
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Hustings

Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu May 26, 2016 8:53 pm

• hustings •

Pronunciation: hês-tingz • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun, plural

Meaning: 1. (US) The location of a political campaign speech. 2. (US) The political campaign circuit, the activities that go into a political campaign. 3. (Britain) Local, usually city courts in Britain that no longer convene, except on rare occasions in London.

Notes: The problem facing users of this word is determining its grammatical number. Husting simply isn't used any more (as my spellchecker now reminds me) even though the meaning of the word suggests it is possible. Most dictionaries say that hustings is singular or plural, but I have been able to find examples of the word with singular agreement (a hustings, the hustings is) only on British websites, and precious few there.

In Play: As we close the gap on the political conventions in the US this summer, today's Good Word will be heard a lot: "Mother always told me to beware the promises of politicians on the hustings." We are always safe using this word in the plural: "You would think Corey Publican is out on the hustings the way she rants on her political hobby horses."

Word History: Today's word comes from Old English husting "court". This word originated in Old Norse husthing, a compound comprising hus "house" + thing "assembly". It was originally a council convened by a king or an earl that acted as a judicial body. By the 18th century it was a court in the city of London that met irregularly in the Guildhall. It was in this building that members of Parliament came to be nominated by a speech given from a platform upon which the Lord Mayor and aldermen were seated. This practice ended with the Ballot Act of 1872. By that time, however, the platform itself was called the "hustings" and, from there, it went on to refer to the place of any political speech or the process of being nominated or elected to public office. (We are grateful that Stan Davis took time off from following the hustings on TV to suggest today's very topical Good Word.)
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LukeJavan8
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Re: Hustings

Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri May 27, 2016 12:25 pm

curious: "thing" as "assembly".
-----please, draw me a sheep-----

RobertJohn
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Re: Hustings

Postby RobertJohn » Sat May 28, 2016 11:14 am

The parliament of the Isle of Man is called Tynwald – the first syllable is linked to the Viking word “thing”. The IoM was ruled by Norwegian Vikings in the 9th century.
There's another example of a Viking “thing”, close to my home in the east of England. There was a small hill called Thingoe Hill near the town of Bury St. Edmunds. In the 10th century and for centuries afterwards, Thingoe Hill was the meeting place for the local assembly that governed the area. This part of England was called the Danelaw – it was conquered and settled by Danish Vikings in the late 9th century, and Viking laws remained long after English kings had taken it back. Sadly the hill disappeared under 19th century development although there is still a road called Thingoe Hill.

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LukeJavan8
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Re: Hustings

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat May 28, 2016 11:51 am

Thanks for adding to this discussion. It really interests me for
some reason.
However now I am curious about "Bury", and is the "Danelaw"
similar to the "Pale" in Ireland?
-----please, draw me a sheep-----

damoge
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Re: Hustings

Postby damoge » Sat May 28, 2016 11:53 pm

and one more question to add to Luke's choice ones, how do you pronounce Viking? is the first "i" short or long?
I was told that in Scandinavia it is short... in other words, both "i"s have the same value.
Everything works out, one way or another


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