welsher; welcher. “Welsher” is the usual form; the term means “one who shirks his or her responsibility” and most commonly refers to one who does not pay gambling debts. E.g.: “But I don’t suppose he had a fermenting punter after him shouting ‘Welsher!’ at the top of his voice.” P.G. Wodehouse, The Return of Jeeves 22 (1954). (A “punter” is a wagerer; the speaker here is a bookmaker unable to pay off a winning bet.) Many natives of Wales consider the word insulting, though there is no etymological evidence supporting a connection with “Welsh” (= of, relating to, or hailing from Wales). Even so, the popular mind makes this connection, and the careful writer must be heedful. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “Sentences in their variety run from simplicity to complexity, a progress not necessarily reflected in length: a long sentence may be extremely simple in construction — indeed, must be simple if it is to convey its sense easily.” Herbert Read, English Prose Style 35 (1952). ====================
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