Sunday, 12 July 2015

Pundits and sticklers

As Wimbledon draws to a close I’m sure many of us have heard the expert advice given by many pundits. A ‘pundit’ is someone who is particularly knowledgeable about a certain subject. The word derives from India where a ‘pandit’ is a Hindu scholar or ‘learned man’. The word travelled to England in the nineteenth-century during the Raj.

Moreover, Wimbledon also has its fair share of sticklers – people who insist on traditions and standards being adhered to. ‘Stickler’ goes back to at least the twelfth century when Geoffrey of Monmouth gave an account of Cornish wrestling in his ‘Historia Regum Britanniae’. In the game, the umpire goes by the old name of ‘stickler’ (from Anglo-Saxon ‘stihtan’ meaning ‘to set in order’). Over time, the word broadened to mean anyone who upholds the rules not just in Cornish wrestling. 

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