Olde Timey Insults

Is it that English just doesn’t have the words to describe that heinous, foul-souled beast who works in the cubicle next to you? Or perhaps, that you just can’t find the word that truly encompasses the terribly horrible nature of the woman down the street? Well, look no further, because it could be that you now know exactly what to call your nephew the next time you see him — and English may actually have the word to describe it! Let’s take a hop and a skip back in history to some Olde Timey Insults. These are taken from Forgotten English III’s Long Lost Insults by Knowledge Cards. They’re taken from old dictionaries, and, naturally, I don’t claim to hold the copywright on any of them.

Nyargle:

A foolish person fond of disrupting. –John Mactaggart, Scottish Gallovidian Encyclopaedia, 1824.

Munz-Watcher:

One of those sneaks that makes a practice of wtching the movements, etc, of sweethearts on their nightly walks, and if any impropriety is witnessed, demanding hush-money to keep the matter secret. -Joseph Wright, English Dialect Dictionary, 1896-1905.

Hogs-Norton:

This proverbial phrase was commonly addressed to any clownish fellow, unacquainted with the rules of good society. –James Halliwell, Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words, 1855.

Pilgarlick:

A poor, ill dressed person; an object of pity or contempt. –Sidney Addy, Sheffield Glossary of Words, 1888.

Spatherdab:

A chatterer, gossip, scandal-monger; a woman who goes from house to house dispensing news. –A. Benoni Evans, Leicestershire Words, Phrases, and Proverbs, 1881.

1800s Engraving

Gongoozler:

An idle and inquisitive person who stands staring for prolonged periods at anything out of the common. –Joseph Wright, English Dialect Dictionary, 1896-1905.

Zounderkite:

Usually applied to one whose stupid conduct results in awkward mistakes. –C. Clough Robinson, Dialect of Mid-Yorkshire, 1876.

Flotch:

A big, fat, dirty person; applied chiefly to women, and implying tawdriness and ungracefulness. –John Jamieson, Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language, 1808.

Mammothrept:

A spoilt child. –Thomas Wright, Dictionary of Obsolete and Provincial English, 1857.

Fustilugs:

An ill-natured person. –C. Clough Robinson, Glossary of Mid-Yorkshire, 1876.

-A.

Photos Courtesy Of:

Garlic Scapes and Gooseberries!

For those of you looking for new ingredients to incorporate into your cooking this spring-into-summer, I’m going to turn back to the unusual classics of cuisine! Spring-into-summer is a great time to try new ingredients, pull out old ones in a new way, or reinvent that delicious dish from your childhood. Let’s take a peek at two delicious ingredients and ways that you can bring fresh fruits and vegetables into your life.

Garlic Scapes are an incredible part of this traditional vegetable that most people overlook. In fact, I was just put on their trail a few days ago, and now I can’t get enough! They’re the twirly, curly, green-onion-y growth of the garlic (that thing that starts to sprout if you let your garlic sit too long). Cut off long before garlic harvesting, these sprouts are actually a delicious ingredient that can be chopped up into pestos, sauces, and other dishes.

Garlic Scapes
So what’s the best way to use garlic scapes? From what I’ve heard and in my personal opinion, it’s by making a pesto. Thick on crackers, thin in soups, pesto is a delicious addition to any lunch or dinner. Throw a dollop into your slow-cooker or spread a layer on a boring sandwich for a garlic-y, basil-y depth that you weren’t expecting!

  • 10 Garlic Scapes
  • 1/3 cup nuts (such as pistachios or almonds)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/3-1/2 cup olive oil

Blend and mix for deliciousness that you won’t forget! You’ll never go back to ordinary garlic cloves after this!

And what would summer be without the traditional but oft o’erlooked Gooseberry? Even better, let’s throw these tart-sweet treats into a pie that will wow any of your neighbours! These fuzzy berries can be used when they are firm and tart or soft and sweet, so be conscious of what sort of gooseberries you’re picking to put in your pie, as you may want to add or remove sugar tending to their ripeness.

Gooseberry Pie
I’m going to take this recipe from AllRecipes, but I’ve altered it, so if you would like to look at the original, go here. So, let’s take a peek at this pie, shall we?

  • 3 cups gooseberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 and 1/2 tblsp quick-cooking tapioca
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • double crust pastry
  • 2 tblsp milk
  • 1 further tblsp sugar

Gooseberries

  1. Stem and rinse berries.
  2. Crush 1/2 cup berries in the bottom of a saucepan. Combine sugar, tapioca, and salt; mix with crushed berries. Cook and stir until mixture boils. Cook for 2-3 more minutes. Remove from heat, and add in remaining whole berries.
  3. Pour fruit filling into pastry. Adjust top crust , cut slits for escape of steam. Brush with milk and sugar.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 40-45 minutes.

Good luck with your gooseberries and garlic scapes! Now you have two great recipes to try out and cook as the weather starts to get hot. Celebrate a ripe season with these great recipes and feel free to leave any comments about posts you’re interested in. We’d love to hear about what themes are your favourites and what you’d like us to write more about! Cheers!

-A.

Photos Courtesy Of:

Cornelia Parker: An Instant in Time

Cornelia Parker

What you are seeing now is a sculpture of an artist who tried to recreate a moment that existed for merely an instant. This instant can never be truly recreated, of course, but Cornelia Parker sure as hell will try.

She prides herself in archiving the unusual, the overlooked, the moment when everything is in movement and we, as humans, cannot perceive all of the stimulus in the moment. She plays with shadows and tries to make movement in things that are still so that we can stop and admire a moment that we couldn’t before. A British sculptor, Cornelia Parker lives and works in London on continually installing her unorthodox artwork.

Cornelia Parker

I was first put onto her trail by a friend, and now I just can’t get enough. Parker suspends items, often burnt wood or stone, with fishing wire. If you take a gander at the piece to the left, you can see the way in which it almost feels like it is fragmenting before your very eyes. To see them in person is even more unnerving. Suddenly, it seems as if time has stopped, and you are simply observing this for a moment before it continues on.

She hosted an installation recently at the ICA in Boston, where my friend stumbled across her works. What a great discovery!

She doesn’t only work with wood, but I feel so drawn to her pieces that are wood! Let’s take a peek at a few that also demonstrate what she captures without being simply a burnt shed, shall we?

Cornelia Parker

She struggles with the volatile and unusual. A rockslide in motion? Not too difficult for this sculptor. What is truly inspiring about her installations is to walk around them and perceive them from every angle. New things pop out to you at every turn! Everything hangs in suspension. It truly is an eerie, awe-inspiring sight and experience and I encourage anyone who can to endorse her work and try to visit when an installation comes to your area.

Cornelia Parker

In conclusion, I’d like to stop and think about for a moment what makes art so wonderful. Our modern perception of art, full of controversies and hypocrisies, often frustrates me. How much I long to return to the times of aesthetic impressionism or glorious realism! But then I turn to de Kooning, to Wilde, to all sorts of 20th and 21st century painters who I enjoy and I can’t help but be grateful that I live in an era when I can appreciate whatever sort of art I’d like!

-A.

Photos Courtesy of:

The Odd World of Television

I’ve compiled a list of five of my all-time favourite television shows (some of which I have discovered extremely recently)! All of these are slightly offbeat and odd, but I think that’s what makes them so special…

Oddities (2010-)-

I came across this show awhile ago, and have to say that it is absolutely amazing. Evan Michelson and Mike Zohn co-own an amazingly quirky antique shop, Obscura Antiques and Oddities, in New York. They sell and buy stuff from mummified body parts to sideshow memorabilia. The show also features buyer Ryan Matthew Cohn, who is extremely interesting (and has the most perfect suits!!). The eccentric customers who come into their shop are really what make this show special, however. They are constantly demonstrating their talents or sharing the most captivating of stories. (Science Network)

Oddities

American Stuffers (2012-)-

This show revolves around taxidermist Ted Ross. His shop, Xtreme Taxidermy in Romance, Arkansas, specializes in pet preservation. He works with three eclectic employees and his family. It’s heartbreaking to watch pet owners suffering the loss of their best friends, but it’s rewarding to see how meaningful it is for them to have their pets back with them again. I am also intrigued by the process that Ted uses to preserve these pets. Instead of traditional mounting (where the hide is mounted to a mold), he uses freeze drying technology that allows for the preservation of the actual, physical body. (Animal Planet)

American Stuffers cast members Joseph Phariss, Dixie Grammer, Daniel Ross and Fred Greer

Family Plots (2004-2006)-

Family Plots followed the family running Poway Bernardo Mortuary in Poway , California. Although the show mostly chronicled the running of the home and the relationships within the family, it also gave viewers into the “mysterious” world of the funeral business. It is extremely interesting for me, for I am considering going into the funeral business, but really is enchanting for anyone. Although this show has not run for a few years, episodes can still be found online if you try to dig them up (oh…bad joke). (A&E Network)

Mysteries at the Museum (2011-)-

This show relays the history of numerous artifacts in multiple museums. Some include shrunken heads at the Mütter Museum, the damage caused by a hydrogen bomb at the National Museum of Nuclear Science History, and even Marilyn Monroe’s Pill Box. I really enjoy the fact that with this show you get to truly understand each individual artifact, because sometimes it is burdensome and awkward to read tiny plaques in front of things. Every episode is unique and extremely interesting. (Travel Channel)

10 Things You Don’t Know About (2012-) –

Taglined as “What your textbooks never told you,” this show shares some interesting facts about history’s best known people. For example, did you know that Benjamin Franklin was a suspected serial killer, that Mormons built Las Vegas, or that Abraham Lincoln slept with men? Historian David Eisenbach shares some of history’s best kept secrets. (H2)

Looking through this list that I’ve compiled, I’m realizing that some of these shows seem rather macabre… but maybe that’s just what I’m into haha. The hipster in me is sad that these types of shows and interests are becoming more and more “mainstream”, but at the same time, I’m so happy that these topics are being opened up to a broader audience.

-C

Photo Credits:

http://www.donewyork.com/shopping/listing/obscura-antiques-oddities/

http://dsc.discovery.com/tv/oddities/bios.html

http://m.arkansasonline.com/news/2012/jan/01/arkansan-turns-taxidermy-work-starring-ro-20120101/

http://www.poptower.com/american-stuffers.htm

http://reality-tv.findthebest.com/l/444/Family-Plots

http://www.travelchannel.com/tv-shows/mysteries-at-the-museum/photos/la-raid-bioterror-automaton

http://www.historyplace.com/lincoln/

How to Go Out in Style!

We often say that funerals are a “celebration of life”, but in most cases that phrase is just a way of dealing with our grief. Unfortunately, funerals have always been very generic in their décor and sayings. Happily, though, a trend to make funerals more personal is taking shape…

First off, let’s do a little vocabulary correction. Most people use the terms coffin and casket interchangeably, but they are not the same thing! A coffin has eight sides with the top (near the shoulders) being wider and tapering narrower and narrower toward the feet. A coffin is much simpler than a casket, and almost any box that the deceased is put in could be referred to as a coffin. A casket is not something only for burial. It is actually anything that holds something meaningful or precious. In today’s western world, most people are buried in caskets. According to An Uncommon History of Common Things, “The term [casket] became widely used among 19th-century U.S. funeral homes, in the belief that it had fewer negative connotations.”

Today, we have gone beyond finding a casket “fancy”.  Novelty caskets are becoming increasingly popular. People are being buried in cell phones, cars, and fish! With this trend, most people design their coffin before death (some many years before death) in order to make sure that it will suit their personality.

Biodegradable coffins, called ecopods, are also on the rise! These coffins are created for “green” cemeteries where decomposition is natural. They can be customized and look (generally) like a “normal” casket and will withstand all of the proceedings of a funeral.

And don’t forget the “do-it-yourself” coffin! Kits are now being made with pre-cut pieces so that you can turn making your coffin into a weekend craft! Paint it however you like (just make sure that it’s sturdy…otherwise things could end up badly…). These kits will not only save you money, but also make for a pretty interesting experience.

These coffins can be made by the most typical coffin-makers on request. If you don’t know your local coffin-maker (chances are you don’t) then order online! Just make sure that you check out the shipping first…that price might be enough to make you need the coffin sooner than you expected.

(and for everyone who would want to be remembered for their love of Doctor Who…)

-C

Many thanks for these outstanding pics:

http://en.nkfu.com/unusual-coffins-from-ghana/&docid=AbcxoQ6Rw5r8HM&imgurl=http://en.nkfu.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/coffins-ghana-6.jpg&w=650&h=425&ei=uSFpT9qCDOu_0QGyz5jvCA&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=415&vpy=158&dur=936&hovh=181&hovw=278&tx=133&ty=97&sig=113850343524182226749&page=4&tbnh=118&tbnw=159&start=58&ndsp=20&ved=1t:429,r:2,s:58

http://www.photoweeklyonline.com/camera-coffin/&docid=zssL1-Y7LXAPVM&imgurl=http://www.photoweeklyonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Camera_Coffin.jpg&w=580&h=475&ei=ayFpT-jZOeLr0gHPnbCFCQ&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=312&sig=113850343524182226749&page=2&tbnh=123&tbnw=158&start=18&ndsp=20&ved=1t:429,r:1,s:18&tx=75&ty=42

http://www.bbc.co.uk/nottingham/content/images/2005/09/27/09_coffin_bag_413x300.jpg

http://www.geekosystem.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/coffin.jpg

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