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

Today's Forgotten English

Today, I am full of ennui. Or is it angst? I forget. Whatever it is, instead of whining about it, I'm going to post Today's Forgotten English, because it seems to star Brigid and Greg's great-grandparents.

To insult or offend.
--James Halliwell's Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words, 1855

Birthday of Nancy Witcher Langhorne Astor (1879-1964), a Virginia native who in 1919 became the first woman to serve in Britain's House of Commons. There she championed numerous social causes, most notably temperance and women's suffrage. She enjoyed stirring up an audience with feminist humor, once joking, "The first time Adam had a chance, he laid the blame on a woman." On another occasion she issued the mock plea, "We are not asking for superiority, for we have always had that; all we ask is equality." Astor often locked horns with Winston Churchill, whom she helped become prime minister. She once gave a costume ball, and Churchill asked her to recommend a disguise. She responded, "Why don't you come sober, Mr. Prime Minister?" One foiled attempt to insult the verbally nimble statesman began, "Winston, if I were married to you I'd put poison in your coffee." He retorted, "Nancy, if you were my wife, I'd drink it."

-The Gneech
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