Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Ha-Ha-Ha From The Past


Forgotten English by Jeffrey KacirkI'm a huge (literally and figuratively) fan of Jeffrey Kacirk's Forgotten English series, which has definitions and events from history. Here are some nuggets...

If you're feeling stranny today, you may be wild or excited (from Jabez Good's Glossary of East Lincolnshire, 1900).

Satyriasis (and its female version nymphomania) is immoderate venereal appetite as a symptom of canine madness (from John Coxe's Medical Dictionary, 1817).

Today, December 1, is the 250th birthday of Guinness. Slainte! In 1759, Irishman Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000-year lease for a small brewery at St. James Gate in Leixlip, County Dublin for 45 pounds a year.

If you're overcrapped, you've given yourself to gluttony and overeating along with the attendant unpleasant aftereffects (from James Barclay's Complete and Universal Dictionary of the English Language, 1848).

Forgotten English by Jeffrey KacirkNovember 30, is the feast eve of St. Eloy, a seventh-century patron of goldsmiths, coin collecors, and metalsmiths.

You're likely to be called a convertine if you're inclined to be converted (from Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1893).

London's Convent Garden Theatre opened on December 7, 1732. Almost immediately the EST (English Standard Time) of noblemen arriving late for theatre events went into place.

Anti-centenarianism is the opposition to the assertion that the persons from time to time reported to have died aged a century or more had really attained to that age (from Edward Lloyd's Encyclopaedic Dictionary, 1895).

Henry Jenkins (1501–1670) was a long-lived Englishman with a lifespan of 169 years, who lived through the reigns of nine monarchs, was a fisherman in the last century of his life, and was acquainted with one Peter Garden (1644–1775), another long-lived Englishman.

A knick-knackatorian is a dealer in knick-knacks and curiosities (from London's Annual Register, 1802).Jane Austen

Wednesday, December 16 is the birthday of Jane Austen (1775–1817) who was fond of the phrase I cannot do-withall meaning I cannot help it. Mark Twain famously remarked, "Any library is a good library that does not contain a volume by Jane Austen—even if it contains no other book."


2 comments:

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, don't you just love Mark Twain? What a great comment! Love this obscure vocab! Thanks for giving me a smile to start my day.

Keira Soleore said...

Yeah, he never stinted an opportunity where he could mouth off his considerable opinion. *snork* In general, I love his acerbic wit; Austen's just my hot button.