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May 1st, 2006

Welcome to Monday

This morning a headline went across my browser: "MI:3 ad mistaken for bomb" and my first thought was, "Where's the mistake?"

Also, happy birthday to pholph, although you should have had a piece of the cake, you cad. Here's today's Forgotten English!

knuller
Old term for a chimney-sweep, who solicited jobs by ringing a bell. From Saxon cnyllan, to knell, or sound a bell.
--John Camden Hotten's Slang Dictionary, 1887


May Day
The First of May is a general holiday for milk-women and chimney-sweepers. The former, attended by persons wrapped in great pannier [a wicker basket carrying bread or other commodities] consisting of several rows of flowers and protherbs, ramble about the streets and go amongst their customers, dancing and asking the presents generally made upon this occasion. The pannier is covered with pieces of plate [ar]ranged in rows as in a buffet, and these moving machines hide every part but the feet of those who carry them. The chimney-sweepers are disguised in a more ridiculous manner; their faces are whitened with meal, their heads covered with high periwigs powdered as white as snow, and their clothes bedaubed with paper-lace. And yet though dressed in this droll manner, their air is nearly as serious as that of undertakers at a funeral.
--Pierre Jean Grosley's A Tour to London, 1767

"Pierre Jean Grosley?"

-The Gneech

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