How one marks useless activity

There are many things Ukraine is infamous for, most of them are related to the state. Today I’m going to review the name for one of its main soap opera places (my frient from Kanthalland wanted posts like this).

So, “parliament”. The place where useless people gather to make useless, idiotic or outright harmful legislation (rare exceptions are not listed).

In English and some other languages it’s called by the word coming from French “parle” — “to speak”, the other nations have completely different names for it, let’s see what they are.

  • Talks ­— see above.
  • Gathering — very common too, especially under the names “assembly” or “congress”, quite often local word for “gathering together” is used as well, like “?????????”, “zgromadzenie/sejm” or “??”(the latter one is more like “state meeting” though).
  • (Daily) work — even though some argue it had nothing to do with the word “day”, in Germanic languages it became so. And besides ever-so-funny Diet of Worms(which had nothing to do with either diet or invertebrates) there are Riksdag (in Stockholm) and Bundestag (in Sumpfstadt).
  • Giving a tip — in theory if people consult with each other before passing a decision you can call them a council. In practice such legislative organ is called ????????? ????? (Supreme Council in Russian, the name of Soviet parliament) or ???????? ???? (the same in Ukrainian though Ukrainians think ???????? ????? or Supreme Betrayal is more appropriate since it serves either not national or not Ukrainian interests) or something like Bundesrat.
  • Old geezers — quite popular too, mostly in the form of “senate”.
  • A thing — an old Scandinavic word “ting” (which is still used for local government in Sweden for instance) meant “a thing” (okay, not only that but it’s funnier this way) and in some places it is still used in parliament’s name, e.g. Denmark, Norway and Isle of Man.
  • House — or chamber. Too many obvious examples.

Of course there are some names that do not fit into this category:

  • in Netherlands they still believe in class system and call it “all estates” or Staten-Generaal. The same is true for some English islands. In France they had also tried it and it ended with the traditional French outcome (revolution).
  • in Russia they call it “??????????????? ????” (from the word “??????” — to think) but as it’s common in Russia the name has nothing to do with reality.
  • in Vatican they have a comission with an extra long name.

Moral of the story: no matter how you name your legislative organ it’s still possible to laugh at it.

Comments are closed.