One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A word, phrase, or idiom of Old English origin; (hence) an Anglicism.
2US Humorously Originally US. A word that is regarded as vulgar, considered (especially humorously) to be of traditional Anglo-Saxon origin, with allusion to the idea of an earlier, uncomplicated era of language and culture; a swear word.
3Identification with, or belief in the superiority of, England (or Britain), the English-speaking peoples, their civilization, culture, etc.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in The Quarterly Review. From Anglo-Saxon + -ism.
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