Monday, 5 March 2018

Fascination of Old dictionaries

Do you enjoy old books? I have a copy of 'HAYDN'S DICTIONARY OF DATES' by B. VINCENT c.1863 and find it endlessly fascinating. Dictionaries and those kind of old books are my favourite.
I just want to share a few entries with you.

The history behind some mundane items is kind of mind-bending!

BREECHES. Among the Greeks, this garment indicated slavery. It was worn by the Dacians, Parthians and other northern nations; and in Italy it is said, was worn in the time of Augustus Caesar. in the reign of Honorius, about A.D. 394, the "braccarii or breeches-makers were expelled from Rome; but soon afterwards the use of breeches was adopted in other countries, and at length became general."
Hmm, could it be too many women were beginning to 'wear the breeches'? The Regency era leather breeches at right I have saved to a board on Pinterest.

"BUTTONS, an early manufacture in England; those covered with cloth were prohibited by a statute, thereby to encourage the manufacture of metal buttons, 8Geo, I. 1721. They are now made of glass, porcelain etc.."

Imagine - a law against cloth-covered buttons!

And cabbages have always been around - right? No!
"CABBAGES. Three varieties were brought to these realms (presumably England) from Holland, A.D. 1510. To sir Arthur Ashley of Dorset the first planting them in England is ascribed. This vegetable was previously imported from the continent. It was introduced into Scotland by the soldiers of Cromwell's army. "

Even the way we speak and write has changed so much that the phrasing often appears quaint or amusing, as in the following.

"CALLAO (Peru). Here, after an earthquake, the sea retired from the shore, and returned in mountainous waves , which destroyed the city, A.D. 1687. The same phenomenon took place, Oct. 28, 1746, when all the inhabitants perished, with the exception of one man, who was standing on an eminence, and to whose succour a wave providentially threw a boat."

Quite explicit! You can see it happening...

Enough trivia for the night!

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