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

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Happy birthday to hallan! And happy belated birthdays to djarums and chef_troy! Forgotten English (© Jeffrey Kacirk) all around!

cheating the devil

Softenings of very profane phrases, the mere euphemisms of hard swearing, as od's blood, dash it, see you blowed first, deuce take it, by gosh, and like profane preludes such as boatswains and their mates are wont to use.
—Admiral William Smyth's Sailor's Word Book, 1867

Queen's Birthday (NZL)
Bank Holiday (IRL)
Foundation Day (W AUS)

Feast Day of St. Elmo,

A patron of sailors. Christina Hole's English Folklore (1940) warned readers of some words and activities to be avoided on and around boats: "Clergymen and churches are rarely mentioned at sea. Cornish fishermen dislike to see a clergyman standing anywhere near the boats." She continued, "Other words also bring bad luck. The ill-omened word drowning is rarely used, the term spoiling being employed instead. On North and East coast boats, pigs are never named, nor are cats, rabbits, hares, and certain wild animals. The term lawyer is included in this list of banned words. … Swearing is usually barred when afloat. This is not so much because it is considered a sin but because throughout folklore it is an evocation of the powers of evil. In Lincolnshire no man, however profane, would curse the keel or gear, or spit on the net."

Then of course, there's also the Feast Day of Tickle-Me Elmo, a patron of really obnoxious toys that make you want to dash them as violently as possible against the nearest brick wall.

-The Gneech
Tags: birthday, forgotten english
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