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Third World country

Posted by Masakim on May 08, 2003

In Reply to: Third World country posted by Lotg on May 08, 2003

: : : what is the origin of "third world country"?

: : From the archives:
: : THIRD WORLD - "Originally, nations - usually underdeveloped - that were not aligned diplomatically with the 'Free World' of Western democracies or the 'Communist world'; later, the Arab-African-Latin American-Indian bloc, with which the People's Republic of China often identifies. The phrase was originally French (tiers monde), in use to describe the neutralists in the Cold War since the late forties. Alfred Sauvy, the French sociologist who died in 1990, was credited with coining the phrase in 1952.the phrase came into U.S. use in the sixties." From "Safire's New Political Dictionary" by William Safire (Random House, New York, 1993).

: : There was some disagreement on this during a previous discussion. Type "Third World" in search.

: OK, but why THIRD? Why not "second world"? Is there such a category and who would fit into that category?

First World, the chief industrialized countries within the political power bloc of the world including many of the countries of Western Europe, the United States, Japan and the Soviet Union.... [1974, patterned after the THIRD WORLD]
Second World, 1 the industrialized countries of the world not including the United States and the Soviet Union.... 2 the socialist or Communist countries of the world. ... [1974, patterned after THIRD WORLD]
Third World .... [1963, translation of French _tiers monde_, based on the eighteenth-century _tier etat_, the Third Estate]
Fourth World, the world's poorest and most underdeveloped countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. ... [1974, patterned after THIRD WORLD; coined by Robert McNamara, president of the World Bank, to distinguish such countries from the oil-rich nations of Asia, often grouped with the Third World]
From _Third Barnhart Dictionary of New English_