Sunday, September 28, 2014

Word of the day



verb tr.: To relegate someone incompetent to a position of minimal responsibility.

After Stellenbosch, a town in South Africa. Earliest documented use: 1900.

Stellenbosch, near Cape Town, was a British military base during the Second Boer War. Officers who had not proven themselves were sent to Stellenbosch, to take care of something relatively insignificant, such as to look after horses. Even if they kept their rank, this assignment was considered a demotion. Eventually the term came to be applied when someone was reassigned to a position where he could do little harm.
Also see Peter Principle.
A similar term is coventry.
Another word derived from the name of a South African town is maffick.

"His erstwhile colleague acknowledged Mr Myers's absence. Has Mr Myers been stellenbosched?"
Does RTE Object to Frugality?; Irish Independent; (Dublin, Ireland); Nov 13, 2008.

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