Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Apr 27 12:16:56 UTC 2014

I dunno. Maybe it's because you chop a rump *steak* off the whole carcass,
and the rump is smaller.

So a *state* should logically work the same way.

It certainly begs the question....


On Sat, Apr 26, 2014 at 11:55 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole <
adsgarsonotoole at> wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: rump
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 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
> usage.)
> Garson
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