Word of the day – lobby

Lobby, what a funny sounding word when you say it, lobby lobby lobby. A lobby is a small hall or entrance area although I’m not sure many people call it that any more. Of course it is used in parliament, and anyone wanting to press their MPs for some cause lobby them, because  originally they would have been waiting in the lobby to speak to them. In fact, anyone trying to raise awareness of an issue or to press their case lobbies the person or company or business they think can help them. It sounds like a good old English word, but in fact it comes from Latin, lobia… but that may have been a mediaeval Latinisation of an old German word.

What I didn’t know was that lobby is also a Staffordshire dish (food not pottery) called lobby; it is a beef stew with lots of root vegetables, hearty and warming. In hard times the meat would be less or non-existent. I’ve found a reference to a Lancashire lobby made with corned beef and potatoes, and there is the Liverpool dish called lobscouse for which there must be as many recipes as there are people who make it! It was brought to Liverpool by Dutch and Scandinavian sailors who made a stew on their ships from meat and vegetables.

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