Word of the Day : May 20, 2015

quisling

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noun KWIZ-ling

Definition

: one who commits treason : traitor, collaborator

Did You Know?

Vidkun Quisling was a Norwegian army officer who in 1933 founded Norway's fascist party. In December 1939, he met with Adolf Hitler and urged him to occupy Norway. Following the German invasion of April 1940, Quisling served as a figurehead in the puppet government set up by the German occupation forces, and his linguistic fate was sealed. Before the end of 1940, quisling was being used generically in English to refer to any traitor. Winston Churchill, George Orwell, and H. G. Wells used it in their wartime writings. Quisling lived to see his name thus immortalized, but not much longer. He was executed for treason soon after the liberation of Norway in 1945.


Examples

"This is a country that can force you to garden, where the parish or your neighbors can twist your arm, make you delve like Adam on behalf of the common neatness…. Best-kept village competitions turn stockbroker dormitory towns into little Stalingrads, where baskets of lobelia and geranium hang from lampposts in symbolic place of deserters and quislings." - A. A. Gill, The Angry Island, 2008

"Liu's works also serve as commentary on current events. For example, a central character in the trilogy sides with the aliens in their struggle against humanity. She becomes a 'terrestrial quisling' because Maoists persecuted her during the Cultural Revolution." - Anthony Kuhn, KPBS.org, April 9, 2015



Test Your Vocabulary

What word beginning with "g" is the name of a secret-police organization that uses underhanded and terrorist methods against persons suspected of disloyalty? The answer is …


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