Sunday, December 10, 2006

Oh, Christmas Trivia

Reindeer is actually redundant. The root rein is Scandinavian for 'reindeer', so reindeer translates to 'reindeer deer'. Translated to English from Old Norse hreindyri. Thank God, because I would never sing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Hreindyri. Why, that just sounds silly.

Mistletoe is thought to be based on a German word for bird excrement (mix) from the fact that the plant is propagated in it. Which could explain the bad taste in your throat the morning after too much fun at the Christmas party. Ugh.

Christmas carol is a term which originally referred to a non-religious ring dance accompanied by singing. Eventually it came to mean a merry song with a tune that could be danced to. American Bandstand immediately comes to mind, I give it a 7. Oh, and where's my Eskimo pies?

St. Nicholas was not only wealthy but modest. Poor families would often find a gold piece or well-filled purse without knowing where it had come from. His American successor, Santa Claus, carried on the tradition. I beg to differ, my purse is usually emptied during this season.

Wassail comes from the Middle English waes haeil (c. 1205), which means 'be in good health' or 'be fortunate'. Wassail is also the name of the spiced apple beverage used in such toasting or wassailing; it has been drunk since around 1300. So has my father, but that's another tradition we don't like to talk about. As far as wassail goes, I plan to incorporate that word into my vocabulary. And I plan to say it like the Budweiser commercial guys would: wazzzaaail.

So, there you have it. You can either take my word for it or look it up here if you'd care to read more.

Until next time...Wassail!

2 Comments:

Blogger X. Dell said...

You write, "Which could explain the bad taste in your throat the morning after too much fun at the Christmas party. Ugh," in reference to mistletoe.

Um, not to be too nosy, but what are you putting in your mouth during these Christmas parties? I'd suspect that at least the mistletoe would be cleaned by the time you kissed under it:-)

Now that I think of it, I'm surprised the Bud people never incorporated Wassaillll into those commercials (which I never liked anyway).

8:14 PM, December 13, 2006  
Blogger OnMyWatch said...

My darling, Mr. X, now where are your manners? simmer down. ;)


That commercial came out when I was in the military and you don't know irritation until you've heard 20 23 yr olds saying that repeatedly, everyday, for weeks. I was ready to court-martial the whole bunch. :)

4:46 AM, December 14, 2006  

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