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#1 2013-04-23 12:56:46

David Bird
Eggcornista
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1178

"Caucuses" for Caucasus

Chechnya is one of 21 autonomous republics located in the caucuses along Russia’s southern border.
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Caucuses are political groups, or private meetings of party members. Clan gatherings. The word’s origin is uncertain, coming either from an Algonquin word for “elder, counselor”, caucauasu, or perhaps from the Greek kaukos, “drinking cup”, presumably liberally employed at Boston’s Caucus Club, a social and political watering hole in the 1760s.

Wikipedia cites Pliny the caucauasu’s derivation of the word Caucasus, which designates the mountainous continental divide between Asia and Europe, from kroy-khasis, used by the militaristic Iranic Scythians for “ice-shining, white with snow”. The geologically angry region has been a theatre for political, military, and religious rivalries for centuries. It’s not surprising that the many restive nation states in the Caucasus should be treated repeatedly on the web as caucuses: Dagestan, Chechnya, Eggcornistan.

Recent national caucusing of two of Canada’s largest political parties may have primed the mistake in the recent headline on the CBC news site:

Last edited by David Bird (2013-06-02 21:55:40)

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