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

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Today's Bit of Forgotten English

A body thrown or impelled down upon an enemy.
--Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1897

Quinquagesima Monday
On this holiday, celebrated fifty days before Easter, the rough sport of hurling was once played in Helston, Cornwall, pitting residents of two particular streets against the rest of the town. Joseph Taylor's Antiquitates Curiosae (1819) elaborated: "The game consisted in throwing, or hurling, a ball of wood, about three inches in diameter, and covered with plated silver. On the ball was frequently a Cornish motto allusive to the game, and signifying that fair play was best. Success depended on catching the ball dexterously when dealt, and conveying it away through all the opposition of the adverse party; or, if that was impossible, to throw it into the hands of a partner who, in his turn, was to exert his utmost efforts to convey it to his own goal, which was often three or four miles distant from that of his adversaries. The number of players was indeterminate, but generally from forty to sixty on a side."

-The Gneech

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