Friday, October 5, 2007

Hessian -- a mercenary from Hesse


hessian (HESH-uhn) adjective
1. A mercenary soldier or a ruffian.
2. Burlap.

[After Hesse, a state in central Germany. Sense 1 derives from the fact that Hessian mercenaries served in the British army in America during the American Revolution.]

"If he waits long enough to get into the race, all the usual-suspect-consultants will be booked -- which would be a boon for Mr. Gore, since his hessian strategists in 2000 made him soft-pedal the environment, the very issue that makes him seem most passionate and authentic."
-- Maureen Dowd; Ozone Man Sequel; The New York Times; Feb 28, 2007.

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