ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sun Apr 27 03:55:31 UTC 2014

Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> A "rump state" is, historically, what's left of a state after a part has
> broken away or been chopped off.
> Which is hardly what the cited journalists can mean right now.

Yes. Hence, one might ask when did this alternative sense appear and
will it persist? Will increasingly rare editors tell web journalists
that their use of "rump" is non-standard?

Here are two recent examples in which a breakaway state or region that
is seceding from a country is being called a rump state by
journalists. The examples are Crimea and Transnistria.

Website: BloombergBusinessweek
Article: Putin’s Gamble: Crimea Land Grab Will Be Met With Western Inaction
Author: Joshua Yaffa
Date: March 03, 2014

[Begin excerpt]
And Putin, a strongman who bends his country’s parliament to his will,
took for a sign of weakness Barack Obama’s decision to back away from
military strikes against Syria last year in the face of wavering
domestic support. In sum, Putin figured that whatever his designs in
Ukraine—creating a rump state in Crimea, stirring up street fighting
in the east—he cared more about getting his way than the West did
about stopping him.
[End excerpt]

Website: Politico
Article: Is This the Next Crimea?
Author: Andrew Connelly
Date: March 19, 2014

[Begin excerpt]
Is Russia committed to “liberating” them all? For Putin, Crimea was a
prize worth taking; seizing an impoverished rump state like
Transnistria would be all downside.
[End excerpt]

Wikipedia has an entry for "Rump State" and one for "List of rump
states". The definition given in the latter entry is: "A rump state is
the remnant of a once-larger government."

Interestingly, both East Germany and West Germany were labeled rump
states in Wikipedia. West Germany was substantially larger than East
Germany. In this special case, all the successor states were called
rump states. (I am citing Wikipedia as a imperfect proxy for popular


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