History… Where Did the Term Freelance Come From?

Free lance has its origins in Germany. It was a military concept of being a free land trooper, meaning that a soldier sold his military service to the highest bidder. (There were other reasons for service but money was usually the prime motivator.) During the second half of the Middle Ages, free lance soldiers were prevalent in Europe, especially in Italy and France. Mercenary, a term that brings us images of pirates, is another name for these free lancers. Soldier of fortune is another.

Later, politicians who did not affiliate with any particular party were known as freelancers. Today, the term is most commonly used to refer to the writing profession. A journalist who writes for a variety of news sites and magazines, without formal employment is called a freelancer.

Suellen Ocean is the author of many books on diverse topics. Her books are available here: http://www.amazon.com/Suellen-Ocean/e/B001KC7Z78

Politics and Pirates… That’s What Filibuster Means? Really?

On the day that I heard that the latest “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie sequel had been hacked, hit with malware and held for ransom, I ran across this historical tidbit. Filibuster was the word used for West Indie pirates (Buccaneers) during the 1600’s. It means free booty. It’s a Dutch word… vrijbuiter. Vrij means free and buit means booty. The Spanish adapted it and call it filibustero. In American politics it refers to when one of the primary political parties (Democratic or Republican) gets together and tries to stop legislation by talking for hours.

Suellen Ocean is the author of The Steinberg Conspiracy Series. Available here:

Book One, Chimney Fire: http://www.amazon.com/Chimney-Fire-Steinberg-Conspiracy-Book-ebook/dp/B00XDCPLEW

Book Two, Hot Snow: http://www.amazon.com/Hot-Snow-Steinberg-Conspiracy-Book-ebook/dp/B014XHUT1K

History Gets Depressing After A While… or Even Right Away

TheCelticPrinceCoverGOLDI write books about history. Whether it’s a Civil War romance or a genealogical how-to, I’m always head over heels in history. Most days I can take it, but I have days when I can’t. There are two periods in history that depress me the most. The medieval ages of the crusades and the slavery of the nineteenth century. Both were times when people were not attached to their hearts. There are accounts of crusaders sweeping through Jerusalem, killing almost everyone in sight. And the atrocities done to the Knights Templar after their fateful arrest on Friday the thirteenth (giving that day its unlucky reputation) are recorded in great detail, right down to what happened to their flesh when they were burned on the cross. The gruesome details of slavery are everywhere. I can’t avoid it. And if anyone wants to feel singled out, don’t. We all have ancestors who were victims of those whose heart was disconnected from the decision-making part of their brain. Like every good romance… whatever your ethnicity… isn’t it time we put a happy ending on it?  Suellen Ocean is the author of many books on diverse topics. Her books are available here: http://www.amazon.com/Suellen-Ocean/e/B001KC7Z78

Let’s Figure Out What a Bolshevik Is…

Chimney FireI hear it in movies all the time, Bolshevik. A Russian revolutionary. Right? I’m not positive, so it’s time I throw open the dictionary.

Bolshevik comes from the Russian word bolshe, meaning “the larger.” The original Bolsheviki (an “i” makes it plural) were the majority (larger) group of the Russian Social Democratic Party. They were considered radicals and were given the name Bolsheviks. A Bolshevist (with a “t”) is any radical, especially one who believes in the overthrow of capitalism by force.  I can see why I was confused. Bolshevik did not originally mean radical, it meant larger, referring to the majority of people in the party who subscribed to that way of thinking. But since the group had radical political views, the word has come to mean a Russian radical.

Bolshevik or Bolshevist, take your pick. In 1918, the Russian Bolsheviki started calling their faction, the Communist Party.New Hot Snow Cover

Suellen Ocean is the author of The Steinberg Conspiracy Series. Available here: Book One, Chimney Fire: http://www.amazon.com/Chimney-Fire-Steinberg-Conspiracy-Book-ebook/dp/B00XDCPLEW

Book Two, Hot Snow: http://www.amazon.com/Hot-Snow-Steinberg-Conspiracy-Book-ebook/dp/B014XHUT1K

History… We All Need a Warm Bath… But is it Effeminate… or Unhealthy?

Did you know that warm baths were looked upon as effeminate by the Greeks? Yes, my trusty encyclopedia tells me that at first, that’s the way they were perceived. We can be grateful that by the 5th century B.C.E., they had become commonplace, at least by the Greeks. Even still, in the early 1800’s in New France, some folks thought that bathing was dangerous to one’s health. But as the 1800’s rolled on, bathing the whole body became acceptable and a bathtub became a symbol of high class. Suellen Ocean is the author of the Civil War Era romance, Blue Violet. Available here:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B018ZWX0R4

Butterfly BLUE VIOLET Front Cover

 

History: What is Nepotism?

Oh how I’ve heard that word tossed about. Nepotism is showing favoritism to relatives. In the workplace it refers to giving jobs to your family members. In the not too distant past people would help their family members find jobs, frequently in government positions. Any quick scan of your local list of government employees may show large numbers of the same last name. That could be because it’s a popular name in the community but it could also mean that before rules were stricter, family members were able to help relatives land a position. Today, more changes have been made and it’s not unusual on a job application to have to answer the question: Do any of your family members work here?

Suellen Ocean is the author of the historical series, The Lion’s Trace Available here:

The Lies of the Lion (Book 1)

http://www.amazon.com/Lies-Lion-Lions-Trace/dp/0965114074

The Guild (Book 2)

http://www.amazon.com/Guild-Hesters-Goodwill-Lions-Trace/dp/1484916697

The Last Quadroon (Book 3)

http://www.amazon.com/Last-Quadroon-Lions-Trace-Volume/dp/149283999X

eBooks and computer downloads available through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ocean

What’s an Iconoclast?

An iconoclast is “a breaker of icons or images” or “one who attacks cherished beliefs as shams”, so says my very old yet reliable Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. Anyone who opposes the religious use of images would be an iconoclast. An icon is an “image or representation”. An example of a religious icon would be an image of a saint, the Virgin Mary or Christ. The word iconic is used in art (sculptures, statues) when it pertains to an image or an icon. Iconolatry is “image worship”.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the historical series, The Lion’s Trace Available here:

The Lies of the Lion (Book 1)

http://www.amazon.com/Lies-Lion-Lions-Trace/dp/0965114074

The Guild (Book 2)

http://www.amazon.com/Guild-Hesters-Goodwill-Lions-Trace/dp/1484916697

The Last Quadroon (Book 3)

http://www.amazon.com/Last-Quadroon-Lions-Trace-Volume/dp/149283999X

eBooks and computer downloads available through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ocean