Definition: A person cooperating with an occupying enemy force; a collaborator; a traitor; one that collaborates with an enemy; traitorous, disloyal.
Origin: The word originates from a famous Norwegian traitor Vidkun Quisling who collaborated with Adolf Hitler during the German occupation of decidedly neutral Norway to use Norway’s forces to assit Germany. King Haakon VII refused and would sooner abdicate than turn his country over. His parliament followed suit and turned down the offer to join Germany immediately casting Quisling as a traitor and a failure.
Why this word?
Dante’s Inferno reserves the lowest circle of hell for traitors. There have been some pretty famous traitors throughout history: Judas Iscariot, Benedict Arnold, and Quisling who worked with the enemy of the time. Traitor is a strong word, but it’s over-used.
Besides, I love cute sounding words that have nefarious meanings.
How to use the word quisling in a sentence?
Anytime you want to call someone a traitor!
I’m sure all of us have had friends be disloyal to us sometime in our lives whether it’s gossip behind your back or a friend throwing you under the bus to win a serious board game. Calling them a traitor might be too dramatic, but calling them a quisling not only makes you sound educated but softens the blow of comparing them to folks worthy of the lowest pits of hell!
“I laughed along with the crowd when I told them that Becky still slept with a teddy bear. Yesterday I was her best friend. Today I was a quisling. “