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Archive for November, 2013

From the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues first published in 1859.

Captain Jack Sparrow

Captain Jack Sparrow (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Savey: to know; “do you Savey that? French, Savez vous Cela: in the negro and Anglo Chinese patois, this is Sabby, ” me no Sabby.” The Whampoa slang of this description is very extraordinary; from it we have got our word Cash!

(Anyone who knows Captain Jack Sparrow knows this one. But did you know where it comes from? That’s my value add.

I was a little confused about Whampoa, it refers to an area that is now known as the Huangpu District, Guangzhou in China. So I guess we get the word Cash from Chinese slang.)

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First chapter of Lady Blade up on wattpad

First chapter of Lady Blade up on wattpad

Perhaps it doesn’t seem that way, after all, the struggle continues to get my work out there, but the more I think about it, the more I find to be thankful for.

First and foremost, I’m thankful that I have the sort of imagination that can transport me to other time periods and other worlds, whether it be aboard a pirate ship in the Caribbean, or a fencing salle in Tuscany. I’m thankful for the characters in my novel who took me places I hadn’t originally intended to go. It was a long and crooked road and I’m glad I had the chance to walk it.

I’m thankful for my husband who gives me the time and space to write and listens patiently to my frustrations. I’m thankful that every day when I get out of bed I know I get another chance to be creative. And I’m thankful for the men and women in my writer’s groups whose honest and constructive criticism, though at times tough to hear, has made Lady Blade what it is today and has made me a much better writer.

I’m thankful for my agent, Frank, who hasn’t given up on me or Lady Blade, no matter how many “nos” he’s heard.

I’m thankful for modern technology which has made writing and editing a helluva lot easier and allows me, with minimal effort, to learn  about the past, from how to splice a rope aboard ship, to how to jump a horse riding side-saddle. And I’m thankful that I’m living today, with modern conveniences like refrigeration and health care, instead of in the past that I love writing about.

And I’m thankful for the changing publishing industry which gives authors more possibilities for publishing. Even in I don’t find a publisher, I’m thankful that Lady Blade can still find an audience.

And I’m thankful for all the people who have enjoyed my “Pirate Word of the Day” and listened to me ramble on this blog.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

C. J.

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From the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues first published in 1859.

Saveloys

Saveloys (Photo credit: Ian @ ThePaperboy.com)

Saveloy: a sausage of chopped beef smoked, a minor kind of Polony.

(A new one to me, but apparently they’re still around and the slang name has become the real name:

A saveloy is a type of highly seasoned sausage, usually bright red in colour, which is typically available in British fish and chips shops,[1] sometimes fried in batter. The word is believed to originate from the Swiss-French cervelas or servelat, ultimately from the Latin cerebrus; originally a pig brain sausage particularly associated with Switzerland.[2])

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From the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues first published in 1859.

Sap!

Sap! (Photo credit: siraf72)

Sap, or Sapscull: a poor green simpleton, with no heart for work.

(I’ve certainly heard people called “saps,” but  I never put it together with the concept of “green” as in new at something.  How very botanical.

Also, an interesting spelling of skull.)

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From the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues first published in 1859.

A drawing I did of Carter, my little saucebox.

A drawing I did of Carter, my little saucebox.

Saucebox: a mouth, also a pert young person.

(I love it! I have to use this one somewhere. Luckily I do have a pert young person in my story. His name is Carter.)

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From the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues first published in 1859.

Redcoats

Redcoats (Photo credit: jlgriffiths)

Sank Work: making soldiers’ clothes. Mayhew says from the Norman, Sanc, blood, in allusion either to the soldier’s calling, or the colour of his coat.

(I always wondered why they wore red. Seems like painting a target on your back – and front. Only a little digging yielded this:

The adoption and continuing use of red by most British/English soldiers after the Restoration (1660) was the result of circumstances rather than policy, including the relative cheapness of red dyes.[9] Red was by no means universal at first, with grey and blue coats also being worn.[3]:16 There is no known basis for the myth that red coats were favoured because they did not show blood stains. Blood does in fact show on red clothing as a black stain.)

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From the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues first published in 1859.

Svið - Icelandic singed sheep's heads @ Iceland

Svið – Icelandic singed sheep’s heads @ Iceland (Photo credit: Bryan Allen Smith III)

Sanguinary James: a sheep’s head. See Bloody Jemmy.

(I found this:

A sheep’s head not singed. A jemmy is a sheep’s head; so called from James I., who introduced into England the national Scotch dish of “singed sheep’s head and trotters,” No real Scotch dinner is complete without a haggis, a sheep’s head and trotters, and a hotch-potch (in summer), or cocky leekie (in winter)..

And here is how to make Singed Sheep’s Head and Trotters: (in case you were wondering. Soooo glad I’m vegetarian.)

Sheep’s Head Broth, (the grand Scotch receipt) A sheep’s head and trotters are singed and are usually sent for this purpose to a blacksmith’s forge. They might be singed with a red-hot iron in the kitchen but it makes a smell which is apt to steal through the house. After singeing they are soaked in cold water or in several waters for two hours and afterwards lightly scraped and trimmed so as to remove excess of blackness, though without destroying that burnt flavour which the singeing is meant to produce. The head is then to be split and to be rubbed over with the brains.

Put the head and the trotters on the fire with two gallons of cold water and half a pound of Scotch barley. Add pepper and salt, take off the scum as it rises, and simmer it for at least four hours. When it is about half done throw in a pint of carrots cut into dice. An hour before it is ready put in the same allowance of turnips together with some chopped onions, in summer time, a few green peas. The soup may be served at once. The sheep’s head by universal consent is best cold. In every manse throughout Scotland the minister eats sheep’s head broth on Saturday while he is preparing his sermon and cold sheep’s head for his Sunday dinner. That is why the sermons of the Kirk are so good. As for the trotters, though they improve the soup they cannot be eaten cold and it is best to serve them separately in a Poulette sauce. )

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From the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues first published in 1859.

Uncle Sam Wants Your Ideas^ Keep 'Em Firing - ...

Uncle Sam Wants Your Ideas^ Keep ‘Em Firing – NARA – 534244 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sam: to “stand SAM,” to pay for refreshment, or drink, to stand paymaster for anything. An Americanism, origination in the letters U.S. on the knapsacks of the United States soldiers, which letter were jocularly said to be the initials of Uncle Sam (the Government), who pays for all. In use in this country as early as 1827.

(I did not know that Uncle Sam went back so far. I wonder why it was Sam, as opposed to Scott or Steve…)

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From the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues first published in 1859.

Cortes Healing Salve

Cortes Healing Salve (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Salve: praise, flattery, chaff.

(Makes sense. I found this modern definition: an ointment used to promote healing of the skin or as protection. Well, praise and flattery often heal wounded emotions. Which would be pretty important if you’re cooped up on a ship with the same bunch of guys for months on end.)

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From the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues first published in 1859.

Salt Beef

Salt Beef (Photo credit: cowfish)

Salt Junk: navy salt beef. See Old Horse.

(Okay, I found this quote and had to share. This relates to the navy, the pirates on the other hand, got food they stole off of other ships, so often they got the stuff the original owners didn’t want. Occasionally they got lucky, but food was questionable at best:

Whatever meat it may have been, the salt beef was certainly abomin- able. It could, perhaps, have been made eatable by long soaking in the steep tub, but no meat for the messes was ever soaked for more than twenty-four hours. The salt pork was generally rather better than the beef, but the sailors could carve fancy articles, such as boxes, out of either meat. The flesh is said to have taken a good polish, like some close-grained wood.
John Masefield
Sea Life in Nelson’s Time
.)

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