Sunday, August 03, 2014

The Origins of Hogwash

This cartoon in today's paper got me wondering exactly where the word 'hogwash' comes from. 

Online references are iffy, so take this with a grain of salt (useful for detecting hogwash).  But I did check a number of sites and the more legit looking ones seemed to agree on this. 

From Word Ancestry:
hogwash, n. [hawg-wosh, hŏg-wŏsh]
-Hogwash is a simple compound noun formed around the mid-15th century from the two English nouns hog 'a type of swine, a pig' and wash 'waste liquid or food refuse from a kitchen.' The wash was often put to use as food for domesticated animals, particularly as swill for pigs. By 1712, hogwash could also be used to describe cheap, poorly made liquor; by 1773, poorly written manuscripts fell under the label of hogwash. In modern English, almost anything that is badly done or ridiculous can be equated with this term for barnyard slop.

That reminded me of the Karen village we visited near Chiengmai (Thailand).  After lunch we helped wash the dishes. 

The water and bits of food left on the dishes went out the drain on the sink to a concrete trough below to the chickens.  You can see the birds below on the right waiting. 

The original post, Sustainable Farming the Old Fashioned way - Karen Village, gives a good picture story of our visit and includes the pigs too.  It's well worth a visit, but then I'm biased, of course, because it takes me back to a wonderful day we had there five years ago. 

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