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

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Happy Birthday, higginsdragon!

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

Cold, nipping, as applied to the weather; Suffolk.
--James Halliwell's Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words, 1855

Thames Frost Fair
On this date in 1716, English chief justice and attorney general Dudley Ryder added to his diary a brief sketch of one of the seventeen Tames "frost fairs" that were recorded between 1281 and 1814: "Went to see the Thames, which is froze over. I was extremely struck with ... the most wild and confused sight I ever saw. It looks as if there had been a violent storm and it had just froze the waves just as they were justling and beating against one another, and the billows and foam and white froth were grown stiff just as they were at the height of their hurry." An account by a Mr. Howe at a similar event in 1608 said, "From January 10th to 15th the ice became firm, and men, women, and children went boldly upon it; some shot at prickes [targets], others bowled and danced, and many set up booths standing upon the ice, as fruitsellers, victuallers that sold beere and wine, shoomakers, and a barber's tent."

Is a "shoomaker" somebody who gets other people to leave for a fee? I could use one of those from time to time!

-The Gneech
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