Thursday, October 28, 2010

Assassination Edification: What the eff is a "waghalter"?

Waghalter: one likely to be hanged (obs.)  As in they will wag (like a dogs tail) from a halter (noose).  Kinda' grisly, eh?

Actually, the term "Wag"--which is still occasionally used to describe a prankster--is derived from waghalter.  Extra grisly.

And on a cultural note: Ignatz Waghalter was a classical composer of the early-mid 20th century.  He did not, as far as Wikipedia indicates, meet his end at the gallows.  Though, being a Jew working in Berlin during the 1930s, he was forced to flee the country; he lived out his last years in NYC.

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