Haven’t read these next two, just linking for convenience:
Five hundred twenty-six years ago today, on October 12, 1492, Christopher Columbus discovered America. Here’s some celebratory music:
from Murder Must Advertise, by Dorothy Sayers
- Bran tub: “Bran-tubs are not so common as they used to be, but there is no better way of giving your guests presents at random. As many presents as there are children are wrapped up in paper and hidden in a tub filled with bran. This is placed on a dust-sheet, and the visitors dip their hands in and pull out each a parcel. The objection to the bran-tub is that boys sometimes draw out things more suitable for girls. This difficulty could be got over by having two tubs, one for girls and one for boys.” — What Shall We Do Now? A Book of Suggestions for Children’s Games and Emplouments, by Edward Verrall Lucas and Elizabeth Lucas
- Vehmgericht: “FEHMIC COURTS (Ger. Femgerichte, or Vehmgerichte, of disputed origin, but probably, according to J. Grimm, from O. High Ger. feme or feime, a court of justice), certain tribunals which, during the middle ages, exercised a powerful and sometimes sinister jurisdiction in Germany, and more especially in Westphalia. Their origin is uncertain, but is traceable to the time of Charlemagne and in all probability to the old Teutonic free courts. They were, indeed, also known as free courts (Freigerichte), a name due to the fact that all free-born men were eligible for membership and also to the fact that they claimed certain exceptional liberties. Their jurisdiction they owed to the emperor, from whom they received the power of life and death (Blutbann) which they exercised in his name. The sessions were often held in secret, whence the names of secret court (heimliches Gericht, Stillgericht, &c.); and these the uninitiated were forbidden to attend, on pain of death, which led to the designation forbidden courts (verbotene Gerichte).” — 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica
- Free warren: “The right to ‘Free Warren’ was principally the right to hunt hare and fox in particular places and at particular times, often granted by the king as reward or favour.” — Charters of Free Warren
- Gin and potash: An old man has one. Mr. Carroll asks for one in Mr. Scarborough’s Family. Potash is said to have been used in the past to adulterate spirits. That’s all I got.
- Nun genh wir wo der Tudelsack: Tudelsack is German for bagpipes; though sometimes I wonder if the Germans are just messing with us.