Friday, July 8, 2011

What does Junket mean to you?

Recently noticed the following comment on Face book from an Australian friend currently in America. She says: “To send something to the tip / dump as Americans say - you junket. To those of my age junket was something you have for dessert.”
Personally I think that American usage/understanding, is just a mispronouncement and contraction of how Americans pronounce, ‘Junk it.*’ Particularly as I could find no similar understanding of that leaning, in the online Dictionary, which gives the 3 main understandings or usages, of Junket.
1. A sweet, custard like food of flavored milk curdled with rennet.
2. A pleasure excursion, as a picnic or outing.
3. A trip, as by an official or legislative committee, paid out of public funds and ostensibly to obtain information.
The first understanding I am very familiar with as we used to have Junket a lot as a kid. Might have had something to do with milking our own house cows and usually having a bit of spare milk to use sometimes? Anyhow liked it then, but haven’t had it in years now.
The second meaning was not known to me but the third was, and in light of the second meaning, it is easy to understand what it means when the papers accuse this or that Pollie of having taken an unnecessary trip/ junket, overseas at Tax-Payers’ expense.**
Well again that is enough of me. How did you understand the word Junket, and in which of its senses, do you use, if you use any that is?
*Turns out I was right, as my friend later wrote this in correction: “Junk it - The Americans say”.
** On the very day I wrote this (July 6th 2011) The Melbourne Herald Sun Newspaper, ran an item headed with: “Greece is word for junket MP’s.”

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