Wednesday, May 11, 2011

on being vulgar


Redneck Olympics

"I knew I couldn't be wrong about the mob,"

he said, beaming over the enormous multitude, which stretched away to the distance on both sides. …

"Vulgar people are never mad. I'm vulgar myself, and I know. I am now going on shore to stand a drink to everybody here."

(G.K. Chesterton, The Man Who was Thursday)

late 14c., "common, ordinary," from L. vulgaris "of or pertaining to the common people, common, vulgar," from vulgus "the common people, multitude, crowd, throng," from PIE base *wel- "to crowd, throng" (cf. Skt. vargah "division, group," Gk. eilein "to press, throng," M.Bret. gwal'ch "abundance," Welsh gwala "sufficiency, enough"). Meaning "coarse, low, ill-bred" is first recorded 1640s, probably from earlier use (with reference to people) with meaning "belonging to the ordinary class" (1530). Vulgarian "rich person of vulgar manners" is recorded from 1804.   (