An odious etymology

[picapp align="right" wrap="true" link="term=algeria+soccer&iid=9193498" src="" width="380" height="253" /] During last week's World Cup group match between the United States and Algeria, one of the announcers was talking about a 1982 incident in which Germany and Austria colluded to keep Algeria out of the second round. He called it something like "One of the most odious moments in World Cup history."

(Though I've been enjoying watching the World Cup with my wife, I don't know anything about soccer history. A longish Guardian article recounts the incident. Here's the key bit):

The 3-2 victory still meant Algeria would become the first African team to reach the second round unless the group's final game, to be played the following day, ended in a one- or two-goal win for West Germany over Austria, in which case both the European teams would progress at Algeria's expense. In the 10th minute of that match Horst Hrubesch put the Germans in front. Then … nothing happened. Realising the scoreline suited both of them, Germany and Austria effectively stopped playing. In the ensuing 80 minutes there were no shots, and barely any tackles, crosses or sprints. The game was no longer a contest, it was a conspiracy. The teams' cynicism provoked universal scorn.

At the time, I tweeted: "Announcer uses the word "odious." Talk Wordy to Me approves."

Here's the details on odious, from the American Heritage Dictionary, with a little added to the etymology from the OED on odiōsus.

  • Definition: Arousing or meriting strong dislike, aversion, or intense displeasure.
  • Etymology: Middle English, from the Old French odieus, from the Latin odiōsus, meaning exciting hatred, disagreeable, offensive, from odium, meaning hatred.