Posted by: episystechpubs | December 10, 2015

Editor’s Corner: Hash House a Go Go

Dear Editrix,

Here’s a sentence that made me consider the word hash: Let’s have a meeting to quickly hash this out. I right-clicked to check Microsoft® Word’s thesaurus for a synonym for the verb hash, and got these answers: confuse, muddle, mess, botch, hodgepodge, and jumble. This seems to indicate that hashing means to make something worse. Isn’t this odd?

Sincerely,

Curious

Dear Curious,

What an interesting finding! I am also curious, so I looked into the different definitions and the etymology. There is a lot of information, so I’m going to concentrate on hash as a verb and noun, but not the word hash as the shortened form of the drug hashish.

Hash (noun)

From Dictionary.com:

1. a dish of diced or chopped meat and often vegetables, as of leftover corned beef or veal and potatoes, sautéed in a frying pan or of meat, potatoes, and carrots cooked together in gravy.

2. a mess, jumble, or muddle:
a hash of unorganized facts and figures.

3. a reworking of old and familiar material:
This essay is a hash of several earlier and better works.

4. Computers. Garbage. [KC – This is pretty vague for a dictionary definition.]

5. Radio and Television Slang. Electrical noise on a radio or snow in a television picture caused by interfering outside sources that generate sparking.

From Merriam-Webster:

1a: chopped food; specifically: a dish usually consisting of leftover meat chopped into small pieces, mixed with potatoes, and browned by baking or frying

1b slang: a meal especially in a cafeteria or at a lunch counter: Food

2: a restatement of something that is already known

3: mixture, jumble, hodgepodge: such as

a: a confused muddle

b: an undesired signal or combination of signals in a radio, radar, or television receiver due to set noise, radio noise, interference, or other cause

c: a medley of miscellaneous steps and figures in square dancing

4 chiefly Scottish: a careless or stupid person of slovenly speech or habits: worthless fellow

5: pound sign (#)

Hash (verb, verb phrases, and idioms)

From Dictionary.com:

1. to chop into small pieces; make into hash; mince.

2. to muddle or mess up:
We thought we knew our parts, but when the play began we hashed the whole thing.

3. to discuss or review (something) thoroughly (often followed by out):
They hashed out every aspect of the issue.

4. hash over, to bring up again for consideration; discuss, especially in review:
At the class reunion they hashed over their college days.

5. make a hash of, to spoil or botch:
The new writer made a hash of his first assignment.

Hash (etymology of verb)

From Online Etymology Dictionary:

1650s, “to hack, chop into small pieces,” from French hacher “chop up” (14c.), from Old French hache “ax” (see hatchet). Hash browns (1926) is short for hashed browned potatoes (1886), with the –ed omitted, as in mash potatoes. The hash marks on a football field were so called by 1954, from their similarity to hash marks, armed forces slang for “service stripes on the sleeve of a military uniform” (1909), which supposedly were called that because they mark the number of years one has had free food (that is, hash) from the Army; but perhaps there is a connection with the noun form of hatch.

I hope this helps!

Sincerely,

Editrix

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

Symitar Documentation Services

NOTICE: This electronic mail message and any files transmitted with it are intended
exclusively for the individual or entity to which it is addressed. The message,
together with any attachment, may contain confidential and/or privileged information.
Any unauthorized review, use, printing, saving, copying, disclosure or distribution
is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please
immediately advise the sender by reply email and delete all copies.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: