The Corner

Defeatism & Oed

I’ve gotten quite a few like this from political science prof:

The OED has the first English use of “defeatism” in the Observer of 9 June 1918, the quotation being “Irish Nationalists will henceforth support Pacifism, and that means defeatism.” But Andrew Stuttaford may be on to something when he suggests a French origin–the OED has the French “défaitisme” as the derivation. And surely Lenin, like other educated Russians of his day, knew French.

If anybody has anything more detailed or conclusive, please let me know.


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