I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Tell me where that name came from (Part 1)

Delores E. Topliff
Researching and now writing historic novels, I love learning stories behind the words, rhymes, etc., that are now part of our everyday world. For example, the tongue twister, “She sells sea shells down by the seashore” comes from historic fact, but not about seashells. Mary Anning, born in 1799 in Dorset, England, was the eldest daughter in a family that supplemented income by digging up fossils near the sea to sell to tourists. She had little education but excelled in fossils and filled in many blanks for science. I wish I’d known the gal and you can read more about her at http://www.littlethings.com/she-sells-seashells-meaning

There are two fascinating explanations for Orange Marmalade's invention and name. One is that Mary, Queen of Scots, got a bad chill while riding horseback through a rainy night to meet her lover, Bothwell. Her French chef boiled orange peel with juice and sugar to cure her and she liked it so much she then kept it at her bedside always.

The second is that a French king had a young daughter also named Marie who was so sick and near death who would not take nourishment. Her desperate dad decreed that whoever could create a food to tempt her to eat and live would be handsomely rewarded. Supposedly, a poor but bright young man boiled oranges crushed in sugar, which she loved, and began her return to health. That story ends with the young man receiving gold plus becoming her husband (and probably starting a Marmalade factory). In French, the words for, Marie is sick are Marie est malade, close enough in sound there must be some basis in fact. 

Which version do you vote for? Tell us the background of any fascinating word origin you know and enjoy.  


  1. Pastor Gayle10/25/16, 10:47 AM

    " Here come the COPS!" Ive heard it said they were called COPs because of the copper buttons on their uniforms. I also heard it was an abbreviation for Constible On Patrol. Before there were patrol cars, police officers walked the streets, they paroled neighborhoods. Even in the real old movies, the 'COPs' were seen running after suspects. So this is about all I know. Thanks Dr. D for your fun facts and God bless your projects. PG

  2. " Bloody " the English term is considered profanity. It is a shortening of the phrase " by Our Lady" . To swear by the Queen , or to swear by the name of the throne was considered the most grevious blasphemy. As Americans can we understand the power of voicing something against the Highest in the Land? In other countries, this could mean inprisonment! Let's just not swear at all. Listen to our Father...Matthew 5:34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. ( I guess that out ranks the earthly monarch!) Long live the King. -PG

  3. The Good Lord willing and the Creek don't rise. Most people think Creek refers to a body of water, but it's actually the Creek Indian tribe.

  4. How fun. I knew part of the Creek Indian reference but find all of these very interesting--love them all.