Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Arlen Specter's conversion from Republican to Democrat and immediately promising to be the most disloyal Democrat in the Senate has got me thinking about one of my favorite words.

Quisling (n) - Traitor. Vidkun Quisling was a Norwegian Hitler Mini-Me. When German captured Norway in World War II they wanted a local, puppet government. Norwegians were more interested in fighting Germans so the Nazis had to settle for Quisling who become know as Norway's Benedict Arnold. After the war, Quisling was executed for treason and his name became synonymous for traitor. Notice, Scandinavians never execute anybody yet they made an exception for this guy.

Benedict Arnold is not a great synonym for traitor.
It's too long and the components remind me of an egg dish and the cute pig on the TV show Green Acres.

Arnold the Pig

As a word for traitor, traitor itself is cursed by being Latin and, hence, stilted and lacking in passion.
Traitor (n) - From the Latin traditorem meaning to deliver over. Related to the English word, trade.
Quisling is a perfect word. In English the quis- letters make a squishing sound like walking through pig slop, while -ling is a diminutive suffix. The word reeks of vile ooze. I sounds like a little piece of shit pretending to be a big turd.

Unfortunately, for whatever reason, it never really caught on. You can't use the word in conversation today because everybody will stop you and ask what the hell that means. And that's a shame.
To writers, the word Quisling is a gift from the gods. If they had been ordered to invent a new word for traitor... they could hardly have hit upon a more brilliant combination of letters. Actually it contrives to suggest something at once slippery and tortuous. ~ British newspaper editor, 1940


  1. Truth made you a traitor as it often does in a time of scoundrels. See the link below for more info.


  2. I read your blog.I thought it was great.. Hope you have a great day. God bless.