English 10: Writing Portfolio
Catholic Memorial High School
|For many years, etymologists have
battled over the definition of champion. Through these
years more and more definitions of the word began to come into play, and so the variation of its
usage remains as it did centuries ago. Over time, the common perception of this word began to focus
on one primary definition: “One who fights on behalf of another and emerges victoriously.”
Many people today can look at the word, sound it out and come to the conclusion that it is a French
based word and in fact it was originally an Old French word: cham-pi-oun. According to the Oxford
English Dictionary (OED), the first written recording of this word dates back seven hundred and
eighty-two years, to 1225. Flourishing from its beginning, the word champion has had tremendous
success in plays, movies; even the theme of a champion has been retold throughout stories and tales.
From this we can look at other words such as champion and see whether or not they are from the
French over England era, the Latin era, and so forth. Through time, we came to use a word with
passion and meaning, and have it shape the arts of our culture.
Research shows many people today, of both male and female, understand the general definition of
champion. Four of the five interviewed, champion meant one who was on top, a high position, and had
won it by themselves, a victorious leader. “A champion is one who has experience in the area, one
who emerges victoriously,” said Ashley. Along with Ashley were Paul, Ryan, and Joe who gave similar
definitions such as Ashley’s. So today, eighty percent of the people still refer to the older
definition, the one used many centuries ago for plays and shows, “One who battles on behalf of
himself or another and emerges victoriously.” However, the remaining twenty percent dish out a new
definition, one referring to the modern clothing line Champion. David stated in his sentence, “My
favorite brand of clothing is the Champion line because they are durable clothes for a cheap price.
In general Americans know the definition of a champion, however some know but tend to think of
something else when asked the question, “Define champion.” As we can see, although sixty percent of
the people surveyed were in there teens and forty percent were either younger or older than myself,
we can see that the generation of mine and those younger and older still learn and keep the
definition used for centuries before our time, and will continued to be used.
Through most of the OED, the discovered definitions and uses of the word champion remain the same
for the first six or seven definitions, for champion had many definitions it would kill many trees
by printing all the pages. Every use and definition with section of OED in my possession has some
variation of an animal, plant, human winning first-prize in a competition, fighting for another, and
so on. However, there is one definition that is still around today, probably only in England for the
definition is “champion of the king, or queen, of the realm of England.” From the OED, people from
around the world can have a better look and where, when, and how certain words came into play within
the creating of our new language hundreds of years ago. The times, the dates, the uses, the quotes,
from a certain word are all from texts both modern and ones found in successful archeological digs.
From its birth in 1225, the word champion has never faltered from its meaning in order to affect it.
Right through Shakespeare’s time in the middle 1500s, the definition remained and Shakespeare
incorporated it into many of his plays. Although many words have several definitions such as
champion, not all will mean the same or all still be in use. Thanks to the scientific works of digs
and of the genius of some humans, the origins of the words within our languages are written, typed
and printed in numerous amounts.
From the OED, one could learn about authors, books, plays, etc. that have used the word. The word
champion, first used in 1225 has never really changed. When the arts began to take over, and plays
began to get popular words, languages came into play. Therefore words that were around were used and
had a new part of their history created. Champion was used numerous times by the great William
Shakespeare in his novels and plays. Some of these works include Henry III and VI (1591) as well as
Richard I and II (1593). Two quoted lines from these plays are included in the next sentences. “A
stouter Champion neuer handled Sword” from Henry by William Shakespeare is one quote. “The Champions
are prepared, and stay for nothing but his Maiesties approach,” written by Shakespeare in his
Richard pieces. Two other major authors or users of this word are Walter Scott in 1819 and Caxton in
1483. The times it was and was recorded all seem to have the same concept of this one word. Walter
Scott had written the book Ivanhoe in 1819 and included the word champion. Before Scott was William
Caxton who wrote the book The Golden Legende. Even the mightiest authors who have used this word
never thought of changing it.
Throughout the years, many Americans probably knew the definition of champion wasn’t going to
change and they were correct. In recent research into the www.nytimes.com and oed.com, there is
proof that the word has been around for seven hundred and eighty-two years, and since then the
definition has remained the same up until present day, such as articles today in papers. On October
29, 2007 the New York Times published many articles containing the word champion in them.
"Patriots 52, Redskins 7; Patriots Drive over Redskins on way to meeting with Colts” was the
headline for an article written by Judy Battista in the sports section. Another usage in an article
comes from the world section written by the Associated Press and includes the world champion and the
title is “American Favored as UN Prosecutor” speaking of a Yugoslavian who believes he is the
champion of international affairs for his country. As many can see, the path the definition of
champion is taking is one straight across the horizon, no change from its birth and probably none
until its death many years, and possibly centuries from now.
Speaking with foreigners gives a close idea of their troubles (if any) of learning this word when
learning the English language and the possible future use of this word within their original
language. Spanish speaking countries such as Peru have roots within the English language because of
the old Latin language. Ms. Paz, one with Peruvian heritage, recounts her childhood and learning to
speak English along with Spanish. “I went to school in Mexico for three years growing up. We spoke
Spanish and English growing up, but I didn’t have many words that I struggled with. All of my family
has trouble with accents. Champion in Spanish is pretty close and the "ch" sound is found
in plenty of words, so there's not much difficulty.” According to Ms. Paz, Peruvians and many
other Hispanic countries do not have difficulty with this word because of their “ch” sound in many
words; however the accent could be off. I later went on to think of the future use of the word
champion in the Spanish language and in other languages around the world and found some interesting
information. The word is actually part of many of the world languages today!
The word champion has a very bright future in plays and in the movies, sports and activities.
Champion is one who emerges victoriously and that is what this word has certainly done over the
years. Nailing ideas for plays and movies, becoming a title for the winner, creating rivalries and
jealousy, this word has already had its future yet the language it’s in and those it has not made
time to introduce itself to yet have to revolve around it. The English language has ran with the
word from the time it was written for the first time. The future for the language relies on that of
the word, and whether or not it will defeat it in the end.
“Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden,” the acronym
for the sport of “golf”, has been around for many
From stained glass Anglican Church windows to
the paper of British writers, literature and its