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Happy Birthday, blackpaw and spikerotty!

For your present, here's today's Forgotten English (© Jeffrey Kacirk):

Sugar-plums perfumed, to make the breath sweet.
--Thomas Wright's Dictionary of Obsolete and Provincial English, 1857

To make kissing-comfits, take half a pound of refined sugar, being beated and searched, put into it two grains of musk, a grain of civet, two grains of ambergreece, and a thimble-full of white orris powder. Beat all these with gum-dragon steeped in rose-water; then roll it as thin as you can, and cut it into little lozenges, and stow them in some warm oven or stove; then box them and keep them all year.
--Robert May's The Accomplisht Cook, 1685

Kissing Prohibited
On this date in 1493, a prohibition against kissing was legislated by the English parliament as a means of controlling the plague. William Fielding's Strange Customs of Courtship and Marriage (1942) related that in Italy about 1500, "the osculatory salutation was treated so seriously that if a maiden was kissed by a young man in public it practically made marriage obligatory. ... There was always the danger of a kiss from some undesirable admirer or needy youth who wished by this means to force a marriage."

I should think that unwanted kisses practically make a knee to the groin obligatory. But I suppose I'm a product of my time.

-The Gneech


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 16th, 2007 02:03 pm (UTC)
"our great mikado, virtuous man
when he to rule our land began
resolved to try a plan whereby
young men might best be steadied
so he decreed in words succinct
that all who flirted, leered, or winked
unless connubially linked,
should forthwith be beheaded..."
Jul. 16th, 2007 07:04 pm (UTC)
Chop it off, Coco! Chop it off!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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