Friday, April 05, 2013

E is for Escargotoire

Escargotoire: A nursery of snails

Apparently the earliest known snail cuisine belongs, surprisingly, not to the French, but to the Romans. Fulvius Hilpinus (125 BC) had several escargotoires for separate breeds; likely including the white snails of Reate, the grey of Illyricum, and the cadillac of snails: the Solitans.

In the 1800's the Cornish town of Roche held annual snail celebrations featuring a dance called the Snail's Creep.

Source: Imperial Lexicon (c. 1850) John Boag
Google hits: 4660

Ensorcell: To enchant, bewitch, fascinate. From Old French: ensorceler.

One of the great literary ensorcelers was, of course, Sauron, from Tolkein's Lord of the Rings. He drew great evil armies to him who bent to his will unquestioningly, a tremendous accomplishment considering he had no CNN or Fox News as tools of propaganda  He was just a floating eye from a small town. He didn't even own a car. But he was probably the most successful floating eye in literary history - at his peak that is. These things never last.

Source: The Shaving of Shagpat (1856) George Meredith
Google hits: 19800

Erubesceny: blushing for shame; for fear of damage to reputation.

Perhaps the word ruby lies at its root?

And again, one of the great literary erubescences was the shame of Sauron when, in a late chapter of The Two Towers, which was entirely edited out in later editions, he was pooped upon by none other than Tweety Bird.

[Editor's note: The preceeding paragraph is a complete fabrication.]

Source: Etymological English Dictionary (1749) Nathaniel Bailey
Google hits: 0

Tweety defeats Sauron.

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