Peasant? and Village?

Seán Fitzpatrick grendel.jjf at VERIZON.NET
Tue Apr 11 05:07:50 UTC 2006

<<My wife's hometown of Oak Park, IL, (old stomping grounds of Ernest
Hemingway and Frank Lloyd Wright) pointedly refers to itself as a "village."
An upscale suburb of Chicago, it is a separate, incorporated municipality.
Is "village" perhaps a legal designation for certain kinds of towns in
Illinois?-- Charles Doyle >>


That description in most of its particulars could describe my wife’s
hometown of Swarthmore, PA, which until the consolidation movement of a
generation ago had its own school system.  Villages are smaller than but not
subordinate to townships, which are subdivisions of the county.  It is
similar in New York, where I lived in the Village of Endicott and in the
Village of Johnson City, but they call townships “towns”.


<< The term "peasant" generally refers to a hereditary caste of rural small
farmers in Europe.—James Landau>>


Isn’t it serfdom that is hereditary?  Wikipedia describes peasant as “
agricultural worker with roots in the countryside in which he or she dwells,
either working for others or, more specifically, owning or renting and
working by his or her own labour a small plot of ground; in England a
‘cottager’.”  When discussing Polish politics during the Solidarity period,
US newscasters sometimes referred to the sympathies of the peasants and had
to explain that “peasant” had no feudal or denigrating connotations, but was
simply the term used in Poland to refer to farmers as a political class.

Seán Fitzpatrick
It’s a Gnostic thing. You wouldn't understand.


The American Dialect Society -

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