Sunday, 20 July 2014

Crony - A Timely Etymology


Noun & verb. Also obsolete chrony. Mid-17th century.
[from Greek khronios long-lasting, long-continued, from khronos time.
Originally university salgn, the Greek word being perverted to the sense 'contemporary'.]

A noun. An intimate friend or associate. M17

B verb intrans. Associate (with) as a crony. M17

cronyism noun friendship, fondness for the company of cronies;
US the appointment of friends to political posts without due regard to their qualifications. M19

Oh those Cambridge nitwits! How Oxonians chortle at the catechrestical origins of crony, being Cambridge University slang for a 'friend, associate'. It's derived from a preposterously pretentious corruption of the Greek khronios, meaning 'long-lasting'. Had it not originated in the 1600s, one could almost hear the vapid undergrads' attempts at sounding simultaneously hip and sophisticated: "Sup, crony?" "Hey crony, sup?" Such oikery! I bet those chunder-headed Cambridge chumps chronically misuse chronic too. At least the Oxford equivalent chum, while lacking the faux-Greco-pretention, makes a modicum of etymological sense. And, let us collectively note, it hasn't descended into the pejorative, which crony undoubtedly has. Crony indeed! Too bad, Cambridge mortar-munchers! You're fooling no one.

The Ohio Gang. I don't know who these guys are, but they look like cronies.
(image from Wikipedia)
Are you a crony, a Cambridge crony, or a cravenly croodling champion of Cambridge cronyism?

Do please leave your most chattering comments in the crony box below.
(Pff. Cambridge, eh?)

No comments:

Post a Comment