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

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Happy Birthday, frostdemn!

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

To cry as deer do at rutting time.
--John Kersey's New English Dictionary, 1772

New Moon
Dance of the Deermen

In recent times, a relic of a "horn dance" ceremony has been performed in the marketplace in Abbot's Bromley, Staffordshire, by twelve dancers, six of whom sported antlers. This ritual's original enactments, probably to encourage fertility among long-extinct British reindeer herds, date from Saxon times. A form of the dance was witnessed by Robert Plot, who said that it took place "within memory" during the Christmas holidays, the horns being painted with the coat of arms of the aristocratic local families. He wrote in his Natural History of Staffordshire (1686), "All people who had any kindness for the good intent of the sport, giving pence apiece for themselves and their families, and so foreigners too that came to see it, with which money they not only repaired their church, but kept the poor." Proceeds went toward the cakes and ale that were distributed, as well as the upkeep of the church.
--Chronicles of London Bridge, 1827

And you thought furry conventions were a recent development!

-The Gneech
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