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

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Happy Birthday, blackpaw and spikerotty!

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

kissing-comfits
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
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