Wednesday, November 28, 2007



Joseph Epstein, 'Let All Your Thinks Be Thanks': An appreciation of an adult holiday, Wall Street Journal (Nov. 22, 2007):
For some time in America we have, of course, been living under Kindergarchy, or rule by children. If children do not precisely rule us, then certainly all efforts, in families where the smallish creatures still roam, are directed to relieving their boredom if not (hope against hope) actually pleasing them.
There is no entry for kindergarchy in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). It is a hybrid from German Kinder (children) and Greek archē (power, rule). The medial -g- is reminiscent of kindergarten or oligarchy.

There are some examples of kindergarchy in Google Books. The earliest dates from 1946 and comes from Monatshefte, a magazine published by the Department of German at the University of Wisconsin. The Googlemeisters, alas, have concealed the context behind their "Snippet View."

The OED does recognize paedarchy (1830) and paedocracy (1647), which mean the same thing as kindergarchy.

Hat tip: Patrick Kurp.

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