Thursday, April 07, 2005

"Filibuster" comes from "free booty"

So blogger's back.

sidereal at Obsidian Wings prompted me to spend two seconds learning about "filibuster". It comes from the Spanish "filibustero", a pirate who holds ships or passengers for ransom.

The related word for pirate, "freebooter", turns out to come from the Dutch for "free booty"; "filibustero" comes from the same Dutch word via the French "flibustier".

Wikipedia says another meaning of "filibuster" is someone who engages in "the act of colonial settlement with the intent of changing the existing government." Also that "[t]he term is almost always applied to Anglo-American settlers in Latin America." - I guess that's why I can't recall seeing it in the context of the I/P conflict.


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