Monday, 14 December 2009

Word: Cabal

This time I've got two origins, one unarguably true, the other more circumstantial.

Origin 1: The true origin is, of course, the Hebrew word kabbalah, litterally meaning 'receiving'. It is a dicipline and a school of thought concerned with mystic Judaism. Cabal reffers to a group of people, bound together by a common cause, often involving secrecy.

Origin 2: Another origin, while probably not etymologically accurate, is the five members of the Privy Council of Charles II of England, Clifford, Arlington, Buckingham, Ashley-Cooper, and Lauderdale. These men held power from 1668 to approximately 1674.

Origin 1 is the true one -- the second, while it did put the word into the English vocabulary, would not have had the impact, or meaning, it did without the former.

Source 1:

Source 2:
Denis MacShane, Globalising Hatred, the new antisemitism, Phoenix, 2009

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