Words

garagiste, n.
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The Independent Culture
IN DISCUSSING William Hague's shortcomings, Auberon Waugh remarks that he appeals to "dodgy second-hand car dealers and garagistes from Essex, but this is a type with which nobody else identifies and nobody admires".

Mr Hague might wince, but the rest of us can take it as a sign that the word will have a revival as a neat term for the proprietor of a filling- station. The OED credits The Observer in 1928 with the first importing of the French - and with a final, 1967 instance: "the garagiste greeted the news with the tired smile of those accustomed to dealing with the ignorant". A fine phrase, whose author merits record. Why does the OED omit these? Richard Boston was galled that it credits the New Statesman, not himself, with coining Sod's Law.

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