Hedge-note

by Heather

Vest-Pocket Vocabulary

Well, it’s a big day for the Vest-Pocket Dictionary—today’s word stumped the OED! I’m going to write in and suggest they add this Vest-Pocket word:

Hedge’-note, n. low writing.

Word in the Wild: She’s convinced that the Times is going to run her opinion piece, but it’s little better than a hedge-note.

This term is followed in the Vest-Pocket Dictionary by hedge-writer, an obscure or low author, and preceded by hedge-born, or meanly born.My guess was that this was a pejorative term originally applied to rural, lower-class Britons, suggesting they were born near the hedgerows belonging to the upper classes. Turns out, I was right: while the OED doesn’t include hedge-note or hedge-writer, it does include hedge-born and explains its origins in just this way.

Here’s hoping you don’t think this blog is a hedge-note!

You can find a complete listing of the Word Blog’s Vest-Pocket Vocabulary entries and learn more about where they come from here.

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