Thursday, February 16, 2012

Word of the Day 2/16/2012

Rabble (noun)
1: a disorganized or confused collection of things
2a : a disorganized or disorderly crowd of people : mob b: the lowest class of people
Examples: He hasn't become comfortable glad-handing the voters as a gubernatorial candidate and always appears to be merely condescending to an unpleasant stroll among the rabble.

"Recently, the publicity department at Morrow Books told the blogging rabble that it might cut off the flow of requested free books if the bloggers failed to cite those books online." -- From an article by Bob Hoover in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 8, 2012

Did You Know?: "Rabble" has been with the English language since its appearance in Middle English (as "rabel") in the late 1300s. It may have come from the Middle English verb "rabel" which meant "to babble." (Despite the similarity in sound and meaning, however, "babble" and "rabble" are unrelated.) The verb "rabel" is related to Middle Dutch "rabbelen" and Low German "rabbeln," meaning "to chatter." So how do we get from babbling to crowds of people? The connection may be the idea of confusion. "Rabble," in its earliest uses could not only indicate a pack of animals, swarm of insects, or a confused collection of things, but could also indicate a confused or meaningless string of words.
Merriam-Webster Online Word of the Day

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