This week, I’m obsessing about, “Kakistocracy,” thanks to a suggestion from Amy Forsberg in early August. It’s not an easy word to twist in fun, or even to say just once (I had to practice), but considering the 2016 presidential race, it’s timely. What does it mean? Let’s see:
– Government by the worst persons; a form of government in which the worst persons are in power (from Dictionary.com),
The origin of the noun is Greek from ~1829. It’s thought to have been “coined on analogy of its opposite, aristocracy, from Greek kakistos “worst,” a superlative of kakos “bad.”
Come on, admit it. With all the cow pies that both presidential candidates keep stepping in, doesn’t this word sound like it might describe our political future? Maybe you’ve shut off the TV news or finished a Sunday article recounting each of the candidate’s failings and thought to yourself, “Oh crap. In some ways both of them stink.”
I know I have.
Here’s a fun fact. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, kakos may be related to the general word for, “defecate.” Like it feels as if these politicians are going to poop on us, no matter who we elect.
Note: Amy found the word while reading this opinion piece by Peggy Noonan in the Wall St. Journal. In it, Ms. Noonan highlights her opinion that Trumps tends to be the one dumping caca on his own campaign, and that his antics steal the public attention away from the on-going Clinton email scandal. Noonan closed by introducing the word, with the following assertion:
“We’re on our way there, aren’t we? We’re going to have to make our way through it together.”
Shit. I hope not.
kakistocracy. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc.http://www.dictionary.com/browse/kakistocracy (accessed: August 21, 2016).
kakistocracy. Dictionary.com. Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian.http://www.dictionary.com/browse/kakistocracy (accessed: August 21, 2016)