Flip words: citizenship-shipcitizen, workplace-placework, understand-standunder

Someone asked me recently, “How is your workplace?” And I thought about the word ‘workplace’ and how if the word parts were swapped to be ‘placework’ it would have the same general meaning. That is not the case for many other words.

Understand – stand under

Citizenship – ship citizen

The alternate meaning of the word ‘understand’ to actually mean ‘stand under’ has been written about extensively. I did recognize the true meaning, at least when one is talking to police or a judge. But now, after thinking about the word ‘workplace’, I firmly know the word understand means ‘stand under’.

Flipping the parts of a word should not and does not change the meaning. Flipping the parts of a word can tell us the true meanings of words.

Here’s another, also with the uncomfortably common ‘ship’ element: internship – ship intern.

I think the flipped word is the French version or the romance language version, where the adjective follows the noun. Such as ‘blue paper’ being ‘papier bleu’. The courts are speaking a French version of English, where the words are English, but the adjective still follows the noun.

The body of law often referred to as ‘Law Merchant‘ should really be translated to be Merchant Law. We should refer to it as Merchant Law. It is law used by the merchants, when they set up shop in the coastal towns. Their law, the merchant law, applied in those areas.

The problem is that through what may be inland piracy, the merchant law has been applied to most dealings inland. The merchants have taken over.

But now we know they’re using a quasi French-English, that some people may also call legalese.

Another key point is that no matter how the words are presented, the meaning of a word or phrase in a legal setting is vastly different that the everyday meaning. The word ‘resident’ means an office holder in legalese, whereas in the incorrect common dialect, people think it means someone who lives in a state or country.

Before checking Bouvier’s law dictionary, the first thing we should do is flip the words around. Leadership means Ship Leader.

Policy officers - Poli-cee
Law dictionary cover: USA differs from States of the Union

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.