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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

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
dilletante
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..."
laurie_robey
Jul. 16th, 2007 07:04 pm (UTC)
Chop it off, Coco! Chop it off!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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