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Rummage
Posted: 24 July 2017 09:23 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I am reading a book and one of the chapters is on the origin of sea terms. There is an interesting etymology on this word. The word is borrowed from French and its meaning was originally arranging cargo in a ship’s hold. In the book I’m reading—English words, form Latin and Greek elements—it submits: “Rummage was originally the arrangement of cargo in a ship’s hold, from Germanic rum “room.””
The OED omits the association referring to the Germanic origin, or perhaps I’ve missed it. The OED does, however, refer to the origin of room as being Germanic.

Origin: Formed within English, by conversion. Etymon: rummage n.
Etymology: < rummage n. (compare forms, and see discussion, at that entry). Compare Middle French arumaigier in uncertain sense, perhaps ‘to arrange, set in order’ (c1420 in an apparently isolated attestation; < arrumage rummage n.). Compare rummager n. and earlier rummaging n.(Show Less)
†1. trans. Naut.
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a. To arrange or rearrange (cargo) in the hold of a ship. Also more generally: to arrange or stow (goods, luggage, etc.). Also occasionally intr. Obs.

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Posted: 24 July 2017 10:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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AHD has a more informative etymology (it should be your first stop for etymologies, since it’s up to date and done with excellent scholarship):

[From earlier romage, act of packing cargo, from French arrumage, from Old French, from arumer, to stow, from Old Provençal arumar : a-, to (from Latin ad-; see AD-) + perhaps run, ship’s hold (of Germanic origin; see reuə- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots).]

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Posted: 24 July 2017 11:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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An interesting inversion of meaning in that it’s primary use these days (in my idiolect, at least) is to search for something among items that have, by implication, not been stowed in an organized fashion (in that the verb implies you’re not able to quickly lay hands on).

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Posted: 24 July 2017 02:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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We still have rummage sales in England although they’re often termed jumble sales now.

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Posted: 24 July 2017 04:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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AHD has a more informative etymology (it should be your first stop for etymologies, since it’s up to date and done with excellent scholarship):

Yes, I know, and I have it in my bookmarks, thanks for the reminder.

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Posted: 25 July 2017 11:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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A few weeks ago I started a thread about rummage - specifically about a CANOE folk-etymology of it that I had encountered - here.

I see though that I didn’t think to mention at the time that rummage in the OED’s sense 4b, ‘A thorough search of a vessel by a customs officer’, is still in use in the UK Border Force, which has inherited the anti-smuggling functions of the old Customs Service. Officers allocated to rummage teams are trained in rummage techniques, and if they suspect that contraband is hidden in confined or hard-to-reach spaces they may have to do a deep rummage.

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Posted: 25 July 2017 05:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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UK Border Force

That seems odd to me. Is it common among other nations to refer to port (and presumably airport) points-of-entry as borders?

I realize that there is an official international border between the six counties of Ulster that are still part of the UK and the rest of Ireland, but I doubt the name UK Border Force was created just for that reason.

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Posted: 26 July 2017 12:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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It’s not only the points-of-entry that the Force has responsibility for, but all the borders of the country, both sea and land. And the normal term for that responsibility in all English-speaking countries is border control, as far as I know. (In France it is the job of the Police Aux Frontières.)

In 2008 the British Government, for reasons best known to itself, merged the Border and Immigration Agency (which managed immigration control in the United Kingdom and considered applications for visas to enter the UK, permission to remain, citizenship, asylum etc), UKVisas (which had simply processed visa applications) and the port-of-entry functions of HM Revenue and Customs (basically, all the traditional functions of Customs officers) into a single organisation: the UK Border Agency.

The new UKBA very rapidly proved such a blatant disaster, and its morale and reputation were so rock-bottom low, that in 2012 the border control division was separated from the rest of the agency as the UK Border Force, which essentially includes traditional Customs work plus the checking of passports/visas and entry points (which the old Customs Service never used to do, but which makes sense now that people get smuggled quite as much as goods do).

FWIW, the following year the rest of the UKBA was itself split into two, UK Visas and Immigration and Immigration Enforcement.

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Posted: 26 July 2017 04:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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The US has Customs and Border Protection, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security. It was formed after 9/11, combining the Border Patrol (which enforced the actual borders with Canada and Mexico) and Immigration and Naturalization Service (which worked in airports, ports, and official land crossing points), both of which were in the Department of Justice, and the Customs Service, which was part of the Department of Treasury, and agricultural inspectors from the Department of Agriculture.

As a matter of US law, the term “border” has an expansive definition, including many areas nowhere near the physical border. Border Patrol agents, for example, often operate hundreds of miles away from the border.

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Posted: 26 July 2017 05:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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It just seemed odd to me that an island would would have a “border”. A little googling after my previous post was enough to show me that people and governments in island nations find it unremarkable. Random website perusal of places as disparate as Jamaica, The Philippines, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and a few others others routinely use the word border to describe their geographical limits. Even if border isn’t in the name of an official agency, their websites(English versions at least) talk about various border activities such as control, patrol, protection, etc.

I don’t know what I expected to be the preferred term - ports or shores maybe.

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Posted: 27 July 2017 12:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Bayaker, your feeling ‘border of island country = coastline’ is natural, and I think we all share it to some degree, but our instinct is more than a century out of date. When Bleriot flew the English Channel in 1909, every country’s borders began to include anywhere a plane could land. The general public may still think of the White Cliffs of Dover as Britain’s border and find it odd to conceive of a row of passport-checking booths in Birmingham Airport as such, but the governmental agencies concerned know that that is exactly what it is!

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Posted: 27 July 2017 04:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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There are also borders on the sea, although I don’t think border is commonly used in reference to them. By international agreement, a country’s territorial waters extends out twelve nautical miles, and there is an additional twelve nautical miles for enforcement of customs, immigration, etc. An exclusive economic zone for fishing, oil drilling, mining, etc, extends out two hundred nautical miles. These are measured from the low-tide mark. (Obviously, adjustments need to be negotiated where the waters of different countries overlap.)

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Posted: 28 July 2017 08:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Lines between maritime territories are more commonly called _boundaries_.

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Posted: 01 August 2017 09:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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All of this talk only reminds me of my favorite types of games - which is to say anything having to do with pirates (past life maybe?).  It seems to me that back then your borders were only as far as your cannon shot.  Which made me grin when I thought about what they called men who plowed through your shot and climbed aboard your vessel…

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Posted: 02 August 2017 10:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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David Lodge renames Birmingham Rummidge in his excellent campus novel Changing Places . Rummidge’s Professor Swallow goes to teach at Euphoric State in CA with Professor Zapp doing the opposite. Literary hilarity ensues. Lodge spent his life as a teacher at Birmingham University and most British cities were dumps at the time he wrote the novel hence the name perhaps. You have to rummage around to find the good stuff.
Both Lodge and Malcolm Bradbury did this and the latter also wrote a funny novel based on his experiences called Stepping Westward. I’ve always enjoyed campus novels which are always comic that I can recall even Randall Jarreil’s Pictures from an Institution. There may be exceptions I’ve missed.

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Posted: 02 August 2017 11:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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There may be exceptions I’ve missed.

Lucky Jim!
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