My word-a-day educational pursuit for this year has been inspired by Jeffrey Kacirk’s Forgotten English, a 365 day calendar of vanishing vocabulary and folklore for 2010. My brilliant plan is to use whatever word comes up as the title of my daily (hahahaha….daily) blog and then just go with it. So that idea was 12 days ago, but it’s still a good one. I’ll pretend I’ve been jammocked. (Jammock – to squeeze, press, beat, crush, or trample into a soft mass. Hence, jammocked, worn out, exhausted.) But I’m not really. And no word for excessively lazy and unambitious has surfaced yet.
The other words of interest to date have been as follows:
gilravage – to hold a merry meeting with noise and riot but without doing injury to anyone. (Sounds like a party)
cat in pan – to turn cat in pan is a proverbial expression signifying a changing of sides in religion or politics. (So if you don’t actually have a strong preference in either one of those departments, you cannot do this.)
ackenpucky – any food mixture of unknown ingredients. (I often make this for dinner in a crock pot.)
affray – a skirmish or fighting between two or more. It is oft times confounded with assalt. But they differ in that an assalt is only a wrong to the party, but an affray may also be without word or blow given, as if a man shew himself furnished with armour or weapons not usually worn, it may strike fear into others unarmed. (Thank God we got that all sorted out.)
dight – to prepare; to put in order, hence, to dress or put on. (Dight yourself, we’re going out.)
genethliacks – the science of calculating nativities, or predicting the future events of life from the stars predominant at birth. (Hmmph. Mothers do this without any help from the stars. Every mother immediately knows her child is destined for greatness. And predicts it. It’s not rocket science.)
aftertale – postscript. (I love this one! If I wrote letters I’d start right now adding a.t.’s at the end.)
pinchery – a state of extreme carefulness approaching miserliness. A state of want or deficiency, poverty. (Never been accused of that first one. Not a big fan of the second one. Don’t be so pinchery when it comes to tipping the waitress, she’s had a hard day.)
ear-biting – This odd mode of expressing pleasure, which seems to be taken from the practice of animals, who, in a playful mood, bit eachother’s ears, is very common in our old dramatists. “I will bite thee by the ear.” Romeo and Juliet. (Seriously, does anyone remember that line? I don’t. But I’m dieing to try it out on someone.)
My one complaint about these page a day things is that they always combine Saturday and Sunday into one day. So the 365 count is a blatant lie. The great thing about this particular calendar is that it also includes big long fokelore blather on every page, so if the word isn’t enough for you, the rest of the page is guaranteed to give you your useless trivia quota fix for the day, if not the entire weekend. Stuff like the Feast Day of Macarius, which I’ll celebrate next year if I remember it, and the Sally Lunn bun, so popular in Bath that they have a Sally Lunn Restaurant and a Sally Lunn museum. I have been to Bath, and I missed both of those things. Such a travesty. And Haxey Hood Day in Humberside! I don’t even CARE what that one is about. The festivities end up in a pub where ample libations follow. My kind of holiday. Maybe they serve lamb’s wool, a soft frothy beverage made of apple pulp whipped with ale. Order that one in a bar and see what happens. And here’s something to chant in your garden. Stand fast root, bear well top, Pray God send us a good howling crop. Perhaps this is where I’ve gone wrong with my house plants, not wishing hard enough for them to be howlingly healthy.
One little phrase that warms my heart, taken completely out of context but it doesn’t even matter – ….youngsters, whose hearts at every shot are bounded with joy…..beautiful. If you don’t remember anything else today, stick that one in your brain somewhere and pull it out whenever you need a little pick-me-up. Probably a better bet to raise your spirits than attempting to choke down a pint of lamb’s wool, wouldn’t you say?