George Orwell and the origin of the term ‘cold war’

On 19 October 1945, George Orwell used the term cold war in his essay "You and the Atom Bomb," speculating on the repercussions of the atomic age which had begun two months before when the United
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On 19 October 1945, George Orwell used the term cold war in his essay “You and the Atom Bomb,” speculating on the repercussions of the atomic age which had begun two months before when the United States bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. In this article, Orwell considered the social and political implications of “a state which was at once unconquerable and in a permanent state of ‘cold war’ with its neighbors.” This wasn’t the first time the phrase cold war was used in English (it had been used to describe certain policies of Hitler in 1938), but it seems to have been the first time it was applied to the conditions that arose in the aftermath of World War II. Orwell’s essay speculates on the geopolitical impact of the advent of a powerful weapon so expensive and difficult to produce that it was attainable by only a handful of nations, anticipating “the prospect of two or three monstrous super-states, each possessed of a weapon by which. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Linguistics

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