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Oligarchy, the word

Holland, 2004 —

I used the word in a piece that I wrote, and didn't know what it meant. So I had to look it up.

"...(government by) a small group of powerful people" — Cambridge dictionary.

Mirriam-Webster online didn't even show a result. No links for them.

The Dutch have a pun for the word: olie-garchieolie meaning "oil."

On the right side of the American Heritage site, there is (here in Nederland) a vertical banner ad that flashes in green and red. It tells me that if it's flashing, I come into consideration (aanmerken) for a green card. But I'm already American. I don't need no stinking green card.

They don't get a link, either.

"...Government by a few, especially by a small faction of persons or families."

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I do like the paper version of the American Heritage. It's American—my language—for one thing; and it has etymology.

•et-y-mol-o-gy. That's a science.

Remarkably, the online version does not have the etymology of a word. That's hard for me to believe. The online version is really more of an advertisement for the book. I'm not even going to look at it.

But what is the etymology of oligarchy?

< Gk oligos — few, little

(From the paper, paperback version, American Heritage 1978. The red one.)

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Okay, now I know what oligarchy means.


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