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Kindergarten, noun

Origin:
EnglishShow more Transferred sense of general English kindergarten school for the instruction of young children: in this sense first used by John X. Merriman (see quotations 1902).
historical
A nickname given to a group of young Oxford graduates recruited by Alfred, Lord Milner, British High Commissioner in South Africa, to work under him in the administration and reconstruction of the former Boer republics after the South African War of 1899–1902. Frequently Milner’s Kindergarten.
[1902 J.X. Merriman Case Against Suspension of Constitution 9Lord Milner was good enough to describe the nature of the Government that was to be set up. It was a Council. I wonder what sort of a Council it would be...Was the idea to set up a sort of kindergarten of young Balliol men?]
1987 G. Viney Col. Houses 198Lionel Curtis, one of the Kindergarten, came to the rescue.
A nickname given to a group of young Oxford graduates recruited by Alfred, Lord Milner, British High Commissioner in South Africa, to work under him in the administration and reconstruction of the former Boer republics after the South African War of 1899–1902. Frequently Milner’s Kindergarten.

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19021987