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

Happy Birthday, dhlawrence and rowyn!

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

month to bleed
"No month to bleed," Richard II. Richard alludes to the almanacs of the time, where particular seasons were pointed out as the most proper time for being bled.
--Rev. Alexander Dyce's Glossary of the Works of Shakespeare, 1902

Waxing Moon
Talk Like a Pirate Day

Feast Day of St. Januarius,

a third-century Italian patron of phlebotomists, whose patronage resulted from the discovery in 1389 that his preserved blood would mysteriously liquefy on this date. Under phlebotomie, John Bullukar's An English Expositor (1616) offered this ludicrous origin for the widespread practice of intentional bleeding: "Phisitions, as it is written, learned this practice first of a beast called hyppopotamus, living in the river Nilus, which being of a raucous nature and therefore often overcharged with much eating, is wont to seeke in the banks for some sharp stub of a reede, upon which pricking his leg he thereby easeth his full body, stopping the bleeding afterward with mud." Before offering step-by-step bloodletting instructions for the layman, Isabella Beeton's Household Management (1861) stressed, "When a surgeon cannot possibly be obtained for some considerable time, the life of the patient depends almost entirely upon the fact of his being bled or not."

Shiver me timbers.

-The Gneech
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