John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey

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Happy, Happy!

Happy birthday, syke! For your present, here's today's Forgotten English!

A blushing for shame; an uneasiness of mind ... for fear of loss of reputation.
--Nathaniel Bailey's Etymological English Dictionary, 1749

Day of Public Humiliation
This gloomy and short-lived "holiday" was instituted in the mid-1600s by Oliver Cromwell's severe, Puritan-dominated government. Puritans subjected themselves to various forms of humiliation, such as adopting strange, biblically inspired first names. Charles Bombaugh's Gleanings for the Curious from Literature (1874) drew a representative sampling of these often hyphenated appellations from a 1658 Sussex jurors' list: "The-gift-of-God Stringer, Repentant Hazel, Be-thankful Playnard, Live-in-peace Hillary, The-work-of-God Farmer, Joy-from-above Brown, Be-of-good-comfort Small, Faint-not Hewett, Redeemed Compton, God-reward Smart, Kill-sin Pimple, Stand-fast-on-high Stringer, Seek-wisdom Wood, Fight-the-good-fight-of-faith White, Search-the-Scriptures Moreton, [and] Weep-not Billing." Bombaugh also mentioned a "Puritan maiden" who, when asked for hers, replied, "Through-much-tribulation-we-enter-the-kingdom-of-Heaven, but for short they call me Tribby."

I'd think just being in Cromwell's England would have been humiliation enough. Yeeks. Hurray for the separation of church and state! Long may it reign!

-The Gneech
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