Words at Play : Words With Remarkable Origins, Vol. 2

#8: Juggernaut

A juggernaut is something (such as a force, campaign, or movement) that is huge and powerful and can't be stopped.

The word rolled into English with a fairly terrifying image.

It comes from Jagannāth (Hindi for "Lord of the World"), the title of the Hindu god Vishnu. According to some exaggerated but widespread reports dating back to the 14th century, during parades in India, devotees of Vishnu would sacrifice themselves by being crushed beneath the wheels of carriages carrying images of Vishnu.

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