Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Word of the day: dragoon

The word of the day is dragoon:

  1. to set dragoons or soldiers upon; persecute by armed force; oppress.
  2. to force by oppressive measures; coerce
1622, from Fr. dragon "carbine, musket,"because the guns the soldiers carried"breathed fire" like dragon. The verb isfrom 1689, lit. "to force by the agency ofdragoons" (which were used by the Fr.kings to persecute Protestants). (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/dragoon)

"Now, with the official Maderista affiliation broken, whoever emerged as chief in charge would have to so so the hard way—by convincing his peers he deserves their backing.

"This was a feat neither political ambition nor military ferocity could accomplish.  The machinery to dragoon local followers did not exist.  If a village resented a self-appointed chief, it simply kept its men home."

 - John Womack, Zapata and the Mexican Revolution

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