Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Tissick, A Tassick

I have a tissick. And I dearly hope it doesn't kill me.

The other day my handy calendar (that my wonderful husband already wishes he hadn't bought for me) shared that a tissick is a faint, tickling cough. It also shared that it was a cause of death in the olden days, and by "olden" we're talking the mid-1600's.

Apparently in London in 1665, at least 3 people died from tissick. I'll spare you the rest of the death roll -- it's very interesting from a historical research standpoint, and I'm certain it will work itself into my writing, but truly, some of these diseases shouldn't be discussed in polite company.

I read the entry and though, "how quaint". Until this afternoon, when a faint, tickling cough began to plague me. Hours ago, now. Liquids don't seem to be working, food certainly doesn't, neither does lying down, standing up, walking swiftly, walking slowly, sitting, nor whining. Though due to the whining my wonderful husband suggested a hot toddy. I'm hoping it does the trick.

If not, at least I shall go secure in the knowledge that it's better to die from a tissick than to die from a griping in the guts. Though my wonderful husband said that he might die of such if my tissick and my related griping don't cease soon.

J.M. Grant

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, January 9, 2009

Fun New (Old) Words

My wonderful husband bought me a great gift for Christmas -- the Forgotten English page-a-day calendar.

It's filled with old words which have fallen out of usage. And, in honor of my love of both language and the past, I'm going to share some of them with you, off and on.

My current favorite, which I must use in a novel -- chamberer. This would denote pretty much what you'd probably guess: "a frequenter of ladies' chambers; a gallant; one who indulges in wantonness; a concubine". And also some you might not: "a woman who attends a bedchamber; a chambermaid; an effeminate man; a carpet-knight".

Personally, I can't wait to find out what "carpet-knight" means, aside from chamberer. It sounds more exotic than a mere chamberer, as if a carpet-knight were a brave man who protected all floor coverings from shoes and pets. I'm tempted to make a "cut a rug" joke here, but will refrain, in case carpet-knight turns out to mean merely someone who sleeps on the floor.

J.M. Grant

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,