blog Time Hath Found Us: The Word Filibuster

April 26, 2005

The Word Filibuster

You hear the word filibuster everywhere. Filibusters are good. Filibusters are bad. Filibuster this, filibuster that. What kind of word is filibuster?

In today's lexicon a filibuster is an "obstruction of legislation in the U.S. Senate by prolonged speechmaking." The word has its roots in the mid-nineteenth century. Back then there were roving bands of adventurers which roamed the seas of the western hemisphere generally stirring up trouble. We know them as pirates today, way back then we called them freebooters or filibusters.

The original word was Dutch. The English word came from the Spanish and the Spanish probably came from the French which got it from English. Got that? Okay so I didn't do so well. Go over to ChronWatch and figure it out for yourself... bucko.

I be a filibuster

Arrr, and when ye get back, do yer shipmate a favor and tell me what ye learn'd, cause I be mighty confused.