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Saturday, 4 January 2020

Saturday Rave: talking rumps.

Everyone loves a nickname, but it's not easy to get them to stick. I mean, we've had ten whole years to come up with a nickname for the 2010s, and there have been plenty of suggestions (usually variations on the numbers, such as the Tenties) but none of them has stood out as an affectionately disrespectful encapsulation of the decade.

In Britain our last parliament has also been looking for a nickname. Again, it's been called all sorts of things, but few of them are repeatable, and none of them has stuck. 

But then perhaps it's best forgotten.

They did things better in former times. In the first half of the 1600s alone we had the Addled, the Happy, the Useless, and the Barebones Parliaments; but as far as I'm concerned the best parliamentary nickname was surely the Rump Parliament of 1648. (It was called that because all those members who didn't want to bring the King to trial for treason had been thrown out, and there weren't all that many left.)

In fact, the Rump Parliament was such a successful nickname that they had another Rump Parliament eleven years later.

Hmm...

The Constipated Parliament? The Costive Parliament?

Actually, I think that last one might just do.

Word To Use Today: rump. This word is Scandinavian. The Danish from is rumpe, but beware: the German rumpf means trunk of the body.





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