Let's reclaim the word "gammon".Watch
used to refer to anyone with the temerity to be "proud of this free and happy country", to quote Dickens. So, let's be proud of our country and take that word back!
180 years ago, the 26 year old Charles Dickens was already using the word “gammon” to describe a large, self-satisfied, middle aged man who professes an extreme patriotism in large part to disguise his essential selfishness and corruption.
"An early example of the characteristics being described with the term 'gammon' may be found used by Charles Dickens, in his 1838 novel, Nicholas Nickleby:
The time had been, when this burst of enthusiasm would have been cheered to the very echo; but now, the deputation received it with chilling coldness. The general impression seemed to be, that as an explanation of Mr. Gregsbury’s political conduct, it did not enter quite enough into detail; and one gentleman in the rear did not scruple to remark aloud, that, for his purpose, it savoured rather too much of a 'gammon' tendency.
The meaning of that term—gammon,' said Mr. Gregsbury, 'is unknown to me. If it means that I grow a little too fervid, or perhaps even hyperbolical, in extolling my native land, I admit the full justice of the remark. I am proud of this free and happy country. My form dilates, my eye glistens, my breast heaves, my heart swells, my bosom burns, when I call to mind her greatness and her glory."