Thursday, May 29, 2008


I saw the word on the side of a box downstairs from my office. It's not that I've never heard of it before, but the name seemed fascinating at the time. That happens occasionally, so off to my big dictionary I go.

“From the name of the seat of the Duke of Beaufort in England,” we learn from the 1934 edition. The later, 1961, volume tells us it’s “from Badminton, residence of the duke of Beaufort, Gloucestershire, where it was first played in England.” This would be in 1873.

For more history, check Wikipedia – if you trust a reader-edited site. I don’t.

I assumed it was from the Royal Family’s German past, since the name starts with “Bad-,” a common German nomenclature. Sort of like “Bad Minton,” but Anglicized to make it more palatable for the locals, especially after WW1.

There’s Bad Ems in Germany, Bad Harzburg, Bad Nauheim, Bad Homburg, and so on.

We have our own “Bad” things here, but they are no relation: Bad Axe in Michigan; Bad Lands, South Dakota; Bad Water in Death Valley, California. There is probably a bunch up in Alaska, not counting Coldfoot and Dead Horse (a hard sell for any tourist bureau).

If any of our readers knows German, could you enlighten the troops as to what “Bad” means in that language? We here at the blog thank you.


Post a Comment

<< Home