November 03, 2007


Quisling - traitor

I seem to be in love with eponyms. There's something fascinating about people whose lives in fame (or infamy) help enrich a language. Today's word is a commonization of the last name of Vidkun Quisling (1887-1945), a Norwegian fascist politician who helped German Nazi forces to occupy Norway during World War II. Thereafter, he was made the head of the puppet government. After Germany's loss in the war, he was tried and convicted of high treason and executed.

The term quisling for traitors was coined by the British newspaper, The Times, in 1940 when they titled an article "Quislings everywhere". The word means traitor not only in English but in several European languages. Something like a modern-day Judas???

Trivia: In a wartime Norwegian cartoon, "Audience with Hitler, Quisling says: "I am Quisling", and Hitler replies: "And the name?".

Sources:,, Wikipedia

Images: Google: Quisling with Hitler


suramya said...

!!!!!!!!!! this was the first word in my GRE in the verbal section, luckily I had come across it in the "famous" word lists and was able to answer it, I was planning to dive into its origin but you beat me to it :), lovely post moi :)

Darkling said...

wow am so damn lucky i came across this blog....took me by surprise and now getting hooked...cheers

666 said...

haha i loved the cartoon. Moi I shall be back soon believe me:-)

welcome here darkling