Tuesday, April 09, 2013

H is for He-biddy

He-biddy: A male fowl; a product of prudery and squeamishness.

Sir Kenelm Digby (1603-1665), in his writings provides an excellent recipe for delicious cock ale, requiring the "well stoned raisings" of a boiled March he-biddy along with regular ale, nutmeg, dates and mace. In a curious full-circling he later advises that your he-biddies be given the cock ale to drink as it will induce drunkenness wherein the cock will only want to eat and sleep, and thus you will "fatten young chickens in a wonderful degree." I don't personally endorse this having never experimented so. And besides, it smacks of cannibalism and we all know how that worked out for the cows...

Not to be confused with hippety, as in Here comes Peter Cottontail hopping down the bunny trail, Hippity, hoppity, Easter's on its way; chorus of the famous Easter Bunny song, surely one of the crowning achievements in the history of music. It was probably written by Kim Mitchell. Probably the B-side to that profound and uplifting masterpiece Rockland Wonderland.

Source: Americanisms Old and New (1889) John Farmer
Google hits: 4600

Holer: Adulterer; libertine; from the French holier.

This begs the obvious question: What term applies then to the donkey adulterer? Oh that wasn't obvious to you? Well excuse me then.

Adultery is a fairly common theme in literature. Perhaps the most significant works featuring this theme: Anna Karenina, Madame Bovary and of course, the Holy Bible.

Source: Dictionary of the Oldest Words in the English Language (1863) Herbert Coleridge
Google hits: 850000 (largely due to the surname)

Hit the maples: To go bowling.

I presume then, that bowling lanes are, or were, typically constructed of maple.

To the ire of the church-o-the-day, King James the 1st invited his subjects to enjoy, on Sundays, such lawful sports as Morris dances, men-and-ladies dances, May-pole raising, archery, vaulting, leaping, games and Whitsun Ales. He only frowned on bear or bull baiting on the holy day, or interludes. Only one activity did the king prohibit seven days a week: That egregious of vices: bowling.

Interludes? Hmmm...

Source: A Dictionary of American Slang (1934) Maurice Weseen
Google hits: 30700

Smiley McApplehead finds Daisy irresistible when she's cornbowling.


Shell Flower said...

Sounds like the holers should avoid cock ale if they want to keep on rockin'. I guess they could hit the maples instead.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Not that this has anything to do with your post, but he-biddies don't sound like any male fowl I've ever met. Our roosters on the farm were vicious and aggressive creatures that constantly threatened to kill my brother and me.

Bhav.Zz said...

Bhavya from the AtoZ Challenge blogging at Just Another Blog