bailout/bale out; or: planes, boats, and MW

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Wed Nov 26 20:47:52 UTC 2008

On Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 3:05 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at> wrote:
> I was listening to the host of NPR's "Fresh Air" this afternoon at
> about 12:45 EST talking to Peter Sokolowski, described by her as the
> Editor at Large of the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, about (I
> think) its 10 words-of-the-year.  They were just speaking of
> "bailout", as in "rescue package for bankers, etc.", and he noted the
> origin in "bail out of an airplane".  She then commented that of
> course there is also "bail out a boat" (of course I didn't know how
> she was spelling either).
> Mr. Sokolowski did not then discuss the complexities of the two,
> "bale" vs. "bail".  (Which I believe were previously discussed here.)

And here:

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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