There are 3 posts.
Espionage, the practice of governments using spies to obtain political or military secrets from their rivals, derives from the French espionner ‘to spy’, which is also the root of spy (French espion). The clandestine nature of the job means that a number of vaguer euphemisms are commonly employed, such as operative, agent, asset, intelligence officer […]more
With the inclusion of kompromat in the most recent update to Oxford Dictionaries, you might feel like we’ve traveled back in time to an era of trench-coat-and-trilby espionage. Kompromat is a word that means ‘compromising information collected for use in blackmailing, discrediting, or manipulating someone, typically for political purposes’, and while it has been attested […]more
The Oxford English Dictionary gives interesting examples of how the term intelligence officer has changed its meaning: An example from American usage in 1847 still conveys the eighteenth-century sense of a person who simply transmits information. Then there is a reference to the poet Rupert Brooke, who in the Great War served as an “intelligence […]more