kosher = according to prescribed rules

victor steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Sat Aug 11 22:18:51 UTC 2012

This doesn't sound quite right. The most common use of Kosher in
non-Jewish context implies something like "above board" (especially in
police-speak)--matching the "Correct, genuine, legitimate"--and
"approved" or "sanctioned"(presumably by some authority, but this can
be left vague). But the meaning here appears to be closer to "strict".
There is an overarching category of "following rules", but that seems
too broad.


On Sat, Aug 11, 2012 at 3:43 PM, Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at> wrote:
> In today's episode of "This American Life" =
> (,
> =
> there is a discussion about a house where four Muslims live, and a =
> comment that it's like a "kosher" frat house because they didn't drink =
> alcohol.
> The OED has "Correct, genuine, legitimate," but this seems to mean "in =
> accordance with (Muslim) rules" or probably more specifically, =
> "excluding prohibited activity." I think this use applies to vegetarian =
> food in a vegetarian household, etc.
> Wiktionary ( has "In accordance =
> with standards or usual practice," which is closer, but still seems =
> slightly off.
> I did a search on the ADS archives and did not see any mention of this =
> meaning, though I looked only at the bits presented in the search =
> results.
> The episode also has "surveil," which the OED covers, but was new to me.
> Benjamin Barrett
> Seattle, WA

The American Dialect Society -

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