A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from October 29, 2009

Entry in progress—B.P.
Word Spy
(thug.AWK.ruh.see; th as in thin) n. Rule of a country or state by a group of thugs.
Earliest Citation:
The cruise ship is another Pequod, or ship of fools: one of those large symbols with strings attached, by means of which the writer snarls at socialist thugocracy, the class warfare of crooks versus fools, third-world liberation movements, the United Nations and just about everything else.
—Paul Zweig, “Modest Proposals,” The New York Times, June 20, 1982
The right-wing columnist George Will seems to be inordinately fond of today’s word. In my research I uncovered no less than five articles in 2001 alone in which Will uses thugocracy. All told, he has inserted this charged word into over a dozen articles since 1988.
Google Books
June 1896, The Baptist Home Mission Monthly, pg. 214:
...and by retaining in her fellowship saloon-keepers, courtesans, thieves, murderers, and thus sanctioning a thugocracy, the Roman Catholic Church in America has laid itself upon to the severe indictment of encouraging lawlessness and of promoting crime.—Baptist Outlook.
Google Books
January 1922, The Journal of Electrical Workers and Operators, pg. 3, col. 2:
Railroad thugocracy isn’t mentioning them— but we are.
Google Books
Louise Michel
By Edith Thomas
Montréal: Black Rose Books
Pg. 200:
One of the speakers accused the Brussels police “thugocracy” of inciting disorder.
Google Books
The Choice
By Bob Woodward
New York, NY: Simon & Schuster
Pg. 216:
Later, when the negative stories about Morris began appearing more and more in the emdia, Morris and Curry began to refer privately to Ickes’s operation as a “thugocracy,” because they felt he was trying to intimidate them both politically and personally.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
The Coming Obama Thugocracy
by Michael Barone
Obama supporters who found the campuses congenial and Obama himself, who has chosen to live all his adult life in university communities, seem to find it entirely natural to suppress speech that they don’t like and seem utterly oblivious to claims that this violates the letter and spirit of the First Amendment. In this campaign, we have seen the coming of the Obama thugocracy, suppressing free speech, and we may see its flourishing in the four or eight years ahead.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Military/Religion /Health • Thursday, October 29, 2009 • Permalink

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