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Happy Birthday, eskermikey!

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

smartish-few
A fair quantity. "Did you have many apples this year? A smartish-few."
--Angelina Parker's Supplement to the Oxfordshire Glossary, 1881


Wassail Eve
On this evening, medieval participants celebrated the conclusion of the Yule season by drinking sweetened and spiced ale or wine from a two-handled loving cup made for toasting and simultaneous sharing. On Wassail Eve, one pronoun-riddled old English toast proclaimed, "When we and ours have it in our power to do for you and yours what you and yours have done for us and ours, then we and ours will do for you and yours what you and yours have done for us and ours." The name was derived from the thirteenth-century Old Norse drinking salutation waes hail, which meant "be thou healthy," and is closely related to the modern English words whole and holy. Wassail later came to signify any festivity or accompanying libation. In some orchards, apple trees were serenaded with "wassailing songs," saluted with rifle-fire through their branches, and doused with cider, all to encourage future abundance.

I tell ya, nothing encourages future abundance like being shot at. 0.o Why do I have visions of Henry V (or possibly Winston Churchill) saying "We few, we smartish few..."

-The Gneech

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
rhanlav
Jan. 5th, 2007 02:35 pm (UTC)
Great... now you got me thinking about 'Wassail' and MST3K.

If the person who you sing to can't provide the wassail,
You are entitled to his debit card and PIN number.
Love and joy come to you,
Unless you can't provide the wassail.

So, where's my Wassail?

--Salen
wbwolf
Jan. 5th, 2007 04:56 pm (UTC)
Here's some wassail, but it's kinda skunky... Maybe Catscratch might want some.
hossblacksilver
Jan. 6th, 2007 06:45 am (UTC)
Reading that, I'm now surprised that Henry V or Churchill saying "Hey ya'll, watch this."

Then again, think how different history would have been if William the Conqueor had said that on October 13th, 1066.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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