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Stellenbosch on A-Word-A-Day

A-Word-A-Day was the very first website I ever bookmarked. I was getting my certification to teach English as a Foreign Language and my students loved words. I’m pretty good with words, even so A-Word-a-Day teaches me a new one, or a new meaning for an old one, more often than not. You can subscribe and receive a new word five days a week and a discussion at the end of the week.

This is a great word, and one I had never heard used before:

stellenbosch

PRONUNCIATION:
(STE-len-bosh)

MEANING:
verb tr.: To relegate someone incompetent to a position of minimal responsibility.

ETYMOLOGY:
After Stellenbosch, a town in South Africa. Earliest documented use: 1900.

NOTES:
Stellenbosch, near Cape Town, was a British military base during the Second Boer War. Officers who had not proven themselves were sent to Stellenbosch, to take care of something relatively insignificant, such as to look after horses. Even if they kept their rank, this assignment was considered a demotion. Eventually the term came to be applied when someone was reassigned to a position where he could do little harm.

A similar term is coventry.

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January 20, 2014 Posted by | Cross Cultural, Cultural, Language, Words | | 2 Comments