August 27, 2007

Maverick

Maverick- One that refuses to abide by the dictates of or resists adherence to a group; a dissenter

Remember the eccentric Thomas Hobson of "Hobson's choice" fame. Looks like he's got company. In South Texas, lived a lawyer Samuel Augustus Maverick in the mid-nineteenth century (1803-1870) who took up cattle ranching not because he was a rancher himself but 'coz a client gave him 400 hundred heads of cattle in lieu of cash. In Texas cattle grazed on the open range, without fences to keep one herd separate from another, and thus there was much opportunity for theft and disputes over ownership. To identify their cattle, ranchers branded them.

But Maverick due to reasons unknown (could be laziness or the cruelty of branding animals) would not brand his cattle and some stories say that he lost a few of his herd to his unscrupulous neighbors who would brand his cattle as their own while other claim that he was influential (being San Antonio's mayor) and hence was able instead to claim that any unbranded calf was his.

Thus, the name maverick started to be applied to all cattle without brands and writers who heard the story decided to take it beyond cattle. What better word to use for a politician who was "unbranded" by a party label, not "owned" by special interests? In the same vein, maverick began to be used for artists who were independent in their thinking and later for anyone who can be called a dissenter.

Did you know: Dude has its origin in the Wild West too??

Source: The Merriam Webster Book of Word Histories, www.answers.com
Pic: http://www.pilgrimjohnhowlandsociety.org/

9 comments:

yogsma said...

What a perfect word to describe 666...as I know him closely. Awesome trivia...

By the way 28th Aug. is 666's birthday...awesome gift for him with this word.

Many many happy returns of the day 666.

Sorry for not posting...and wait for one more week people.

666 said...

my dearest yogsma. A few points.

1. M honored that you humbly bestow that signature of Maverick on my otherwise persona non grata. Thank you friend.

2. M dishonored by a incorrect public broadcast of an otherwise inconsequential piece of personal trivia (Refer corrigendum below).

3. Nevertheless, thanks for the wishes.

Corrigendum: 666 was born on the 6 th day of the 6th month of the 6th year.

Moi: I am tempted to change the name to Semoitica. Great stuff.

yogsma said...

@666
666 was born on the 6th day of 6th month of the 6th year...
but Manish was born on 28th August.

That's what I know.

Radha said...

Great post. Reminds me of the Mel Gibson movie 'Maverick' that I'd seen long ago.

666, Happy birthday !!!

666 said...

Thanx radha

suramya said...

666, happy birthday, moi I've been away too long, but it was great fun reading all the words in one go.

Moi said...

there's a Mel Gibson movie by that name???? how's the movie, Radha???

Catherine said...

Great site guys! Love the Lord Byron quote at top of page. Fun, great read, and your content on your site, will absolutely make ya think!!
Cat

Moi said...

Hey Catherine...thanx for dropping by and we are glad you enjoyed the posts here...do come back for more :)