dragoon

Today’s word from A.W.A.D:

dragoon (druh-GOON) verb tr.

To force someone to do something; coerce.

[From French dragon (dragon, to dragoon).]

This is a good example of how a term transferred from an object to a people to an action. Originally it referred to the firearms, either from the fact that they breathed fire like a dragon or from the shape of the pistol hammer. Eventually it began to be applied to a European cavalryman armed with a carbine. Today the term is used in the sense of forcing someone to do something against his or her will.

As a friend said this morning, “It’s a good synonym for libertarians to know.”

Advertisements

One Response to dragoon

  1. iceberg says:

    Perhaps this sheds light on the question of where the word ‘goon’ originates to mean “thug”?
    http://wordsmith.org/board/showthreaded.php?Cat=0&Number=80559&page=

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: