• Etymons

    Buckles, Cobblers, Grunts and Slumps

    It’s blueberry season in Maine. The abundance of blueberries got me thinking about my mom’s blueberry buckle recipe. What, pray tell, is a buckle? Buckles Fruit buckles are very much associated in my mind with New England, but my quick check of southern recipe collections suggest that that’s not the case historically. Southern recipes for buckles feature apples and plums Almond-Plum Buckle recipe rather than blueberries Blueberry Buckle Recipe. A buckle, for the curious, is an old-fashioned style of single layer cake, typically cooked in a flat pan, round or square (rather than , and includes fruit and streusel-style crumb topping. Some recipes call for mixing the fruit into the…

  • Celtic Art & Archaeology,  Celtic Studies Books

    Free Ebook from RIA: Modern Ireland in 100 Artworks

    Modern Ireland in 100 Artworks was edited by Fintan O’Toole and Catherine Marshall. The book, available as an ebook and as a printed book, traces the story of Ireland’s creative output from the revolutionary period until today. The book consists of 100 artworks created from 1916 (the year of the Easter Rising) to 2015, using each year as a spring board to trace the cultural history of Ireland. The works include visual works (paintings, sculptures, architecture) as well as literary; images of the visual works are included. The literary works are represented only by allusion and discussion in the short essays accompanying each piece. It’s interesting, though I suspect more interesting the…

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  • Etymons

    Asterisk

    Asterisk is one of those words in English that began as a noun, but is often used as a verb, with the meaning “To mark with an asterisk” (AHD s.v. asterisk). An asterisk is: n. 1. A star-shaped figure (*) used chiefly to indicate an omission, a reference to a footnote, or an unattested word, sound, or affix.2. Mathematics A symbol used to indicate multiplication, as in 2 * 3 = 6. Etymologically speaking, asterisk (present in Middle English) derives from Late Latin asteriscus, from Greek asteriskos, diminutive of astēr, “star.” Asterisk, Aster, and Star are all derived from the Proto Indo-European root *ster-3. Our practice of using an asterisk to identify…

  • Etymons

    Coulee

    If you know anyone from Eastern Montana, you likely have heard them refer to coulees. In Montana and most of the Western U.S., a coulee is “A deep gulch or ravine with sloping sides, often dry in summer” (AHD s.v. coulee). While coulee means different things in other places (a stream bed or even a bayou or canal in Louisiana and Southern Mississippi, a valley with hills on either side, or a lava flow), I want to focus on the Montana definition of coulee. Writer Kari Lynn Dell, novelist and Montana resident defines a coulee this way: It’s smaller than a valley, wider than a ravine, deeper and longer than a…

  • Conferences,  Resource

    Ériu Special Compilation Issue

    Ériu, a journal from the Royal Irish Academy, has published a special compilation issue in honor of the International Conference of Medievalists. The articles are all reprints, but they are some stellar reprints, and you can read them or download the .pdfs without a subscription to Ériu. The complete table of contents contains links to download .pdfs of the articles. Here are some that are particularly noteworthy: Calvert Watkins — “Sick-maintenance in Indo-European.” Donnchadh Ó Corráin. “The education of Diarmait Mac Murchada.” T.M. Charles-Edwards. “Early Irish Saints’ Cults and their Constituencies.” R. I. Best. “Notes on the script of Lebor na hUidre.”

  • Calendar,  Medieval manuscripts

    July from the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry

    This is the July calendar image from the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. It shows wheat being harvested in a field to the left, a typical labor for July, while on the right a man and a woman are shearing sheep. The labors of the month are so very dependent on local seasons, and the cooperation of the weather, that it’s not really surprising to see sheep-sheering as a labor for June and July. In the background is one of the Jean de Berry’s many castles; exactly which castle is in question (only three of his many castles are still extant). If you look very closely at the…