Interesting word in the news


The recent news of consumers threatening to boycott certain stores or businesses because of political frustration led us to look up the word — not because of its meaning but to understand its origin.

We were surprised to find that the word boycott, now written with a lower case “b,” originated during the Irish Land War in the fall of 1880.  At the time, tenant farmers in rural Ireland had a poor harvest and were seeking to pay lower rents.

According to the blog of the Oxford English Dictionary, the Irish Land League was working for better conditions for the farmers and using tactics to push back against the landlords and their agents.  Captain Charles C. Boycott, an agent for one of the land owners, refused to meet the terms of the farmers and the league and became the focus of tensions.

When conditions reached a boiling point, almost every servant or farmer at the estate  where Boycott worked was driven off and told not to come back. Newspapers retaliated and urged the public shunning of landlords and their agents. Boycott was unable to find workers to work the harvest, businesses refused to sell to him and his area community shunned him. By December 1880, the Illustrated London News noted that to “Boycott” had become an active verb, meaning to intimidate or “to taboo.”

The word and the action represented were adopted by other European languages, including French boycotter (1880), German boycottieren (1893; now boykottieren), Dutch boycotten (1904), and Russian bojkotirovat (1891).


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Who coined phrase “Cold War”?

Philanthropist and financier Bernard Baruch coined the phrase "Cold War," first used in an address at the S.C. House of Representatives.

Philanthropist and financier Bernard Baruch coined the phrase “Cold War,” first used in an address at the S.C. House of Representatives.

On this date in 1947, the phrase “Cold War” was first used to describe the distrust between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Bernard Baruch, the famous financier and industrialist who advised U.S Presidents on foreign and economic policy, used the phrase “Cold War’ in an address to the S.C. House of Representatives. The occasion was the unveiling of a portrait honoring Baruch, a South Carolina native. The painting was to hang in the S.C. House of Representatives, and guests gathered for the event expected a brief talk from Baruch.

Instead, Baruch used the occasion to deliver a blistering attack on industrial labor problems in the United States.

“Let us not be deceived  — we are today in the midst of a cold war. Our enemies are to be found abroad and at home. Let us never forget this: Our unrest is the heart of their success,” he said, probably to the surprise of those in attendance.

The phrase immediately was seized by U.S. newspapers and magazines to describe the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union — a war without bloodshed, but a war that would be fought via diplomatic and international relations for decades.




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Memorable Monday: “We the People …”


The celebration of Constitution Week continues through Wednesday, September 23.

The U.S. Constitution is the document that established our national government, our fundamental laws and our inalienable rights. The delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the document on September 17, 1787, and then sent it to the states to be ratified.

The delegates established the federal government with three branches – executive, legislative and judicial– along with a system of checks and balances to ensure that no single branch would have too much power. Added to the Consitution is the Bill of Rights. These are the 10 amendments guaranteeing our basic individual protections such as freedom of speech and religion. The Bill of Rights became part of the Constitution in 1791.

The annual observance of the U.S. Constitution was started by the Daughters of the American Revolution. In 1955, the DAR petitioned Congress to set aside September 17 – 23 for an annual observance of Constitution Week. The resolution was adopted by the U.S. Congress and signed into public law on August 2, 1956, by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

In the words of some of the signers:

“The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.”Benjamin Franklin

“The happy Union of these States is a wonder; their Constitution a miracle; their example the hope of Liberty throughout the world.”James Madison

“If it be asked, What is the most sacred duty and the greatest source of our security in a Republic? The answer would be, An inviolable respect for the Constitution and Laws.”Alexander Hamilton

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Thoughtful Thursday: You CAN do it!


This week, we have been watching the series, The Roosevelts, on PBS. It has been fascinating to learn more about the lives of two former U.S. presidents and also of Eleanor Roosevelt, who had more strength of character and resolve than we realized.

So, we have decided to share an inspirational quote from our former First Lady who brought attention to the plight of the poor during the Great Depression and was an indomitable political force in her own right.

And if you haven’t seen the series, it continues through Saturday night and is excellent!


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Wordy Wednesday: Pass the pandowdy, please!


Many interesting and fun words come from the names of food.

For example, could you describe a pandowdy? And did you know that the words “grunt, slump, and buckle” also are  associated with foods?

With apple season upon us, you should add this fact to your trivia bank: Each of these words is associated with a recipe that includes apples. “Hungry History” at tells us that pandowdy, grunt, slump and buckle were among our nation’s most popular desserts at one time.

“Hungry History” tells us that pioneer mothers made fruit buckles as they traveled along the Oregon Trail. And we thought that traveling without benefit of air conditioning and good road maps would make cooking totally out of the question! Who knew!

Pandowdies, known as Brown Bettys in the South, had their creation as a way to use old bread. By layering sweetened apples with stale bread or bread crumbs  — and adding butter to the mixture — American cooks could make a simple dessert resembling an apple bread pudding for their families. Pandowdy was the word used above the Mason-Dixie Line, just sayin’.

To read up on your apple dessert history, visit at

And please send an “apple snackee” our way when you’re cooking! Cousin Dixie and I are suffering! The Editorial Assistant, Mom Karen, has lost her recipe box — if she ever had one!

(Photo by Apolonia,



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Thoughtful Thursday: Remembering D-Day


How can any of us fully express gratitude to the thousands of veterans from the United States and our Allies who risked their lives and gave their lives when they landed on the beaches of Normandy, France, to begin the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi control during World War II?

The invasion was known as D-Day, and Friday, June 6, marks the 70th anniversary of the historic military event that would bring the downfall of Germany.

By the end of June 6, 155,000 Allied troops — Americans, British and Canadians — had successfully stormed Normandy’s beaches. Several thousand were killed.

Many were young guys, much like Charlie Wilson whose story was told on the CBS Evening news last night. Mr. Wilson was only 18 years old when he landed on Utah Beach — a teenager in a tank. Despite being afraid that they would die, Mr. Wilson had faith, saying they were trained “… to surprise them and outsmart them (Germans).”

And they were trained to get off the beach as quickly as possible.

Leif Maseng of Chicago, Ill., was another 18-year-old when he enlisted in the Army. The young paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne was dropped into Normandy late at night before the invasion began. He found himself waist deep in a flooded field in Normandy and away from others in his division.

Mr. Maseng, who now lives in Columbia, S.C., eventually met up with his fellow paratroopers. They took part in the D-Day mission and later fought in the Battle of the Bulge.

In an article in The State newspaper, Mr. Maseng said that he had not wanted to go back until now. “It’s not a pleasant memory, and I drop it from my mind. But that is changing. I think I ought to see it now and remember what happened.”

Both Mr. Maseng and Mr. Wilson are in Normandy for the commemoration, expected to be attended by 5 million people and many world leaders.
These two men embody the bravery and courage of the Greatest Generation. At the beginning of their adult lives, they were called to do the impossible — and they were only teenagers! Yet, despite knowing that they could die at any moment, they were determined to give their all for their country. They changed impossible to possible and then to “done.”
Americans should carry the soldiers like Leif Maseng and Charlie Wilson in our hearts forever. They were on the front lines of liberating Europe and bringing an end to a terrible war.
They did what many in our nation wouldn’t do today. Because of their contributions and sacrifices — and those of so many others — we have the freedoms that we enjoy.
Humble to the core, these men don’t see themselves as heroes.

Mr. Wilson said he “would still go back if I had to today. I could still kick butt, if I had to.”

The Editorial Assistant, Mom Karen, and I think it’s time to let others “kick butt.” But if weren’t for Mr. Wilson and Mr. Maseng and those who served during this dark time, our history might be much different.

God bless you and all of those who have served our nation proudly and continue to do so today!


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