Today, my wife and I are bidding farewell to Southern California to greet our new home: Dublin, Ireland. We’ll actually be staying in Oxford, England first until the Irish government finishes processing our work visas.
(Nope, it’s not the sun, I’m sure you’re wondering: I’m going to miss fish tacos the most. And family, of course.)
So, to mark the occasion, I wanted to take a break from my regular newsy musings to look into the history of a word long associated with my new home – and really only surviving the expression beyond the pale.
In the English of the late 1300s, a pale was a “stake,” the wooden sort driven into the ground – or impaled into Dracula’s heart. Stakes can make a “fence,” a fence can mark a “boundary,” and a boundary can demarcate a “territory,” as pale all came to name.
Historically, England controlled a number of regions…
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