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

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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
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