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

Happy Birthday, film2edit!

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


A miserably small pittance of anything, as if it were no more than the cat can take up by one stroke of her tongue.
—Rev. Robert Forby's Vocabulary of East Anglia, 1830

Beware of May Cats

A certain unluckiness is held all England over to attend a May kitten as well as a May baby. The latter will be sickly and difficult to rear; the former must be drowned without mercy; no good would come of rearing it; it would only bring snakes and slowworms into the house, and never kill a rat. Nay, it is averred that it would suck the breath of children. On this point, Rev. Hugh Taylor writes: "My groom, a native of North Tyne, tells me no one would keep a May cat because it would lie in the children's faces and suffocate them. He said there were many cases of children in that neighborhood having lost their lives from that cause. He himself has a cat they obliged to watch. If it is left alone in the house for a few minutes it is found lying on the baby's face."
—William Henderson's Folklore of the Northern Counties of England, 1879

Maybe it's just trying to get revenge for the inexcusable treatment its kin have received at the hands of medieval-minded superstitious yokels.

Just a thought.

-The Gneech
Tags: birthday, forgotten english
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