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Happy Birthday, softpaw!

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

clock-faces
A favorite name for the small circles of ice formed upon a pool when it begins to freeze over.
--Francis Taylor's Folk-Speech of South Lancashire, 1901


New Moon
Some Things Never Change

In his Curiosities of London (1855) John Timbs related details of the "Frost Fair" that began on this date in 1789: "No sooner had the Thames acquired a sufficient consistency than booths, turnabouts, &c. were erected, [and] puppet-shows, wild beasts, &c. transported from every adjacent village. Many thousands of persons crossed upon the ice from Tower Wharf to the opposite shore. The watermen broke in the ice close to the shore and erected bridges with toll-bars to make every passenger pay a halfpenny for getting to the ice. A large pig was roasted on one of the roads, and the printing-press was erected, as usual, to commemorate the strange scene." Chronicling January 9, 1783, diarist John Evelyn wrote, "I went crosse the Thames on the ice, which now became so thick as to bear not only streetes of boothes in which they roasted meate and had divers shops of wares, as in a towne, but coaches, carts, and horses."

Not much chance of that today -- it's practically April out there. Very confusing weather!

-The Gneech

Comments

the_gneech
Jan. 8th, 2008 03:10 pm (UTC)
Thats as may be, but Virginia usually isn't quite so mercurial. :)

-TG

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