Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Tue Dec 14 16:04:40 UTC 2010

In Google I find "Polizeikessel" from 1987 in Die Zeit:

<>and from 1986 in Der Spiegel

<>Der Spiegel has a
pretty good English site, and I looked for an article available in both
languages with the word Polizeikessel, but the magazine seems to have
finessed the issue in the past.

"Die bunte Truppe Demonstranten sitzt im Polizeikessel und weiß nicht recht
April 1, 2009

gets translated as

The colorful group of protestors, surrounded by police, suddenly has no
place to go.,1518,616931,00.html
April 2, 2009

So, 20 months ago, Der Spiegel did not recognize "kettling".


On Tue, Dec 14, 2010 at 9:29 AM, Michael Quinion <
wordseditor at> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Michael Quinion <wordseditor at WORLDWIDEWORDS.ORG>
> Organization: World Wide Words
> Subject:      Re: kettling
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Paul Frank wrote:
> > In German, the verb "einkesseln" has been around for quite some time.
> > The eight-volume Duden (2nd edition, 1993) defines it as "völlig
> > einschliessen" (to surround and enclose completely) and explains that it
> is
> > mainly used in military contexts. The first citation is from 1973. But
> > anyone who has read German accounts of the Battle of Stalingrad knows
> that
> > the word was already in use in 1943. Grimm's Deutsches Wörterbuch
> > (1838-1961) defines the noun Kessel as "bei jagden der rings geschlossene
> > platz, wohin das wild getrieben wird" (roughly: encircled place where the
> > wild game is driven during the hunt). My uneducated guess is that that is
> > where the military meaning comes from in German.
> That's very helpful. I now also see that Wikipedia Germany has an article
> on the term "Polizeikessel", with exactly the same sense as the British
> term. However, the implication is that it is rather older than the first
> examples in the British press, from the G2 summit in April 2009. Sharing
> of experience, and of vocabulary, between the two national police forces
> seems plausible and this would make "kettling" a loan translation.
> --
> Michael Quinion
> Editor, World Wide Words
> Web:
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