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

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Happy Birthday, trpeal!

For your present, here's Today's Forgotten English!

To cover with something which cannot be thrown off, generally applied to water; to throw upon something so as to cover or bury it; to turn the open side of a vessel downwards. [From] Saxon abwhilsan.
--Daniel Fenning's Royal English Dictionary, 1775

Feast Day of St. Gemma,
an Italian patroness of apothecaries, born in 1878. Jacob Larwood's A History of Signboards (1866) included a description of the seventeenth-century apothecary firm Godfrey and Cooke, whose logo was the Phoenix rising from the ashes. Even allowing for exaggeration, these chemists and their successors must have purveyed medication to much of England. As Larwood wrote, "Persons of a highly imaginative turn will probably shudder to think of the awful quantities of physic prepared by the house in those 184 years. The pills, if piled up like cannon-balls, would make pyramids higher than those of Gizeh; the draughts would be sufficient to cover the earth with a nauseous deluge; and the powders, if blown about by an evil wind, levelling valleys and mountains, would change the whole of Europe into a medicated desert."

Just think what it would be like if they'd had Prozac and Viagra.

-The Gneech
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