Monday, March 26, 2007

Today's Enlgish

Martinet: 1. A rigid military disciplinarian.
2. One who demands absolute adherence to forms and rules

"I have always taken good care to keep out of sections with small company commanders. They are mostly confounded little martinets."
-Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front


gregvw said...

Does the origin of this word tie in with Mars by any chance? It reminds me of the Italian word for Tuesday "Martedì" which would likely correspond to the Roman war god Mars, as Tuesday is the day of Tyr, the closest Nordic equivalent to Mars.

gregvw said...

Hmm, I guess not. The etymological dictionary says:

Martinet (1676), "system of strict discipline," reputedly from the name of Col. Jean Martinet a drillmaster of the Fr. army during the reign of Louis XIV. The meaning "an officer who is a stickler for strict discipline" is first attested 1779.

Rufus said...

I always felt bad for the offspring of Vidkun Quisling, although not for him. After all, he was a quisling.