I know it’s banned in English, but it seems perfectly natural to me, just as natural as wetting one’s whistle: if it don’t rain it won’t grow, and the road to the kebab shop is awash with Blairite pub extensions.
Gordonio, a medical treatise published in 1495, is against drinking between meals but recommends they be preceded by a bath taken with camomile and marigold and followed by a dose of atriaca, an “ancient pharmaceutical concoction composed of many ingredients but principally of opium. Used against the bites of wild animals.” In Modern that’s having a spliff. Current opinion seems, however, to be divided as to the effects of smoking on ones appetite.
The etymology of (a)triaca is very interesting: Hispanic Arabic attiryaq -> Classical Arabic tiryaq -> Latin theriaca -> Greek theriake (antidotos), (antidote against a poisonous bite from) a wild animal, feminine of theriakos, of wild animals, -> therion, diminutive of ther, wild animal.
Treacle comes from the same root, which surely means that Tate & Lyle used to market Golden Syrup for colonial pest control, and that it was used to poison the lion on the tin.
- Why I’m called Trevor
Or rather, how my grandfather seems to have been named after a minor railway station.
- Why I’m blogging less
It’s not just because no one comments.
- Bestiaries (ii): Llull and Orwell
Through the serpent have come all evils in the world.
- Burning dog: bizarre and brutal winter solstice celebrations in Spanish Pyrenees
The sun dog is seen above reborn, having previously mysteriously died at the end of the solar year:
While its soul wanders the underworld, its old and weary body is barbecued and consumed in dark hovels by fearful peasants:
I’ve forgotten who it was who believed the Old Testament was originally written in English, or …