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

  • Mood:

Happy, Happy!

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

erubescency
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
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

  • 9 comments