A diverse offering twixt the interesting, the unusual, and the amusing.
Wednesday, 8 April 2015
You (I) learn something every day....
My study of Latin has given me a life-long love of etymology; in fact the three dictionaries that are never far from my side are the C T Onions Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology, my big fat Collins Latin Dictionary, and the essential Collins Robert Anglo/French Dictionary. If they're not nearby, I panic!
Anyway, I say all that because I recently made a small discovery which amused me.
I was reading a book (in French) when I came across the description of a room which, it claimed, contained a collection of ancient dames-jeannes.
I had no idea what these were, so consulted my Anglo/French dictionary, and was amused by what I found.
Dames-jeannes translates as 'demijohns'; those large round bottomed glass containers, often used in the UK (and elsewhere) for wine/beer making.
On reflection the etymology was obvious, but as I'd never seen the words actually written down before, the translation came as a very pleasant surprise.
So, if I ever hear someone using the word 'demijohn', I shall nonchalantly, and confidently, inform them of the word's origin.... Little things, eh?
The difference between an optimist and a pessimist, is that the optimist enjoys himself whilst waiting for the inevitable! I AM that optimist!
This is a daily, optimistic, 'photos and comments' blog. I make no judgements (only occasionally), just notes. If you wish to comment in any way at all, please feel free. Everything and everyone (except the obdurate and dictatorial) is very welcome.
I was born just south of London, but for the past 46 years I've lived in S W France. I am a painter by profession, and writer by desire. Lady Magnon and I live in an ancient cottage, in a tiny village, in perfectly tranquil countryside. We have a vegetable garden called 'Haddock's' (this may crop up from time to time), plenty of fruit trees, and a view that takes the breath away; we also have a Border Collie called Billy. I try to treat our planet with respect, and encourage others to do likewise (without preaching).
Contentment is a glass of red, a plate of charcuterie, and a slice of good country bread. Perfect!