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

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Happy Birthday koogrr!

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


Snow and water mixed; very cold liquor; Shakespeare.
—Noah Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828

England's Coldest Day

Since at least 1205, this date was proverbially considered the coldest day of the year in England. The claim was renewed in 1564, a few years into Elizabeth I's reign, when a "frost fair" was held on the frozen-over River Thames. John Stow's Summarie of Englyshe Chronicles (1561) described one such event: "The ice became firme and then all sortes of men, women, and children went boldly upon the ice ... People were many that set up boothes and standings upon the ice, as fruit-sellers, victuallers that sold beere and wine, shoemakers, and a barber's tent." No fewer than seventeen frost fairs were recorded between 1281 and 1814. At the end of the 1683–1684 fair, diarist John Evelyn observed, "The booths were almost all taken down, but there was first a map, or landskip, cut in copper, representing all ... the sports and pastimes thereon in memory of so signal a frost." The formerly broader, shallower, and slower-running Thames was narrowed by the 19th-century Embankment project, creating a swifter river that no longer froze over.

I've read that one before. You're repeating yourself, Jeffrey!

-The Gneech
Tags: birthday, forgotten english
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