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a confusing mixture


hodgepodge = Mischmasch, Durcheinander, Gemenge



"When the first department stores opened in the 1870s and ‘80s, they were cavernous, no-frills storerooms that stocked a HODGEPODGE of items once available only from specialty merchants."

Christina Larson - The Washington Monthly

"No one ever said running a small business was easy — especially in Europe. Regulatory headaches, difficult access to capital and a HODGEPODGE of privatization policies make the hard job of running a business even harder."

Time Magazine

Did you


- a mixture of dissimilar ingredients; a jumble

The American Heritage Dictionary


Hodgepodge (early 17th century) is an alteration of the Middle English hotchpot, a thick soup or stew made of various types of meat and vegetables.

Hotchpot was derived from the Anglo-Norman hochepot, which in turn evolved from the French hocher, meaning to shake.

So hochepot / hotchpot simply means lots of different things thrown into a pot, shaken and cooked.


Hodgepodge is not unlike “bubble and squeak”, only cooked in a pot instead of fried in a pan. British cuisine may have a bad reputation but there is no lack of interesting names for delicacies served on the Island:

- inky pinky – another stew, of Scottish origin, made from leftover cold roast beef that is added to a vegetable stock at the last minute and cooked with onions and carrots.

- pish pash - an Indo-British leftover dish made with rice, meat, vegetables and Indian spices.

- whim wham - a type of trifle that typically includes sponge cake, orange flavouring, almonds, sherry and/or brandy.

SYNONYMS for a collection containing a variety of miscellaneous things:

all shapes and sizes, all sorts, alphabet soup, clutter, conglomeration, crazy quilt, dog’s breakfast, dog’s dinner, everything but the kitchen sink, farrago, gallimaufry, goulash, grab bag, HODGEPODGE, hotch-potch, hotchpot, jambalaya, jumble, mash-up, mélange, mingle-mangle, mishmash, mixed bag, motley collection, omnium-gatherum, patchwork quilt, pick ’n’ mix, potpourri, ragbag, scissors-and-paste job, smorgasbord

SMUGGLE OWAD into a conversation today, say something like:

“The report was just a HODGEPODGE of different ideas with no clear structure.”

THANKS to Eva for suggesting today’s word.

HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations at:


Paul Smith, IBAN: DE75 7316 0000 0002 5477 40

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