KANINCHEN.

I recently acquired a copy of Our Man in the Crimea: Commander Hugo Koehler and the Russian Civil War, a fascinating look at the final stage of the Civil War through the eyes of an unusually observant American naval officer. I bought it for the Russian material, of course, but before he gets there the book takes him from his youth (he was told at some point that he was the illegitimate son of Archduke Rudolf!) to Annapolis to his first mission abroad, up the Yangtze in the fall of 1911 (just in time to witness the Wuchang Uprising that began the Chinese Revolution), and after a stint with the Atlantic Fleet during World War I he turns up in defeated and resentful Germany, where in a letter (24 February 1919) written from Hamburg we find this piquant paragraph:

It is not difficult to get inaccurate impressions of the scarcity of food. I heard several of our officers and men mention they had seen dog meat and dog sausages for sale in shops at Hamburg and Bremerhaven. I insisted this was not possible, but they insisted they had seen such placards announcing dog meat for sale and had seen the sausages. I was finally led to a shop where the placard in question was triumphantly pointed out. The sign read “Kaninchen Wurst.” He knew that “kanine” meant dog and “wurst” meant sausage and thereby followed the deduction the sausages were of dog meat. Though this officer spoke some German, he apparently did not know that “Kaninchen” happens to be German for rabbit…


(My apologies for not posting yesterday; my laptop is on the fritz, and when I use my wife’s desktop I spend most of my time editing, so until I get my computer back my time here is limited, and sometimes it’s all I can do to clean out the spam. I may miss further days. Talk amongst yourselves.)

Comments

  1. I would appreciate it if someone could give me a simple explanation of what distinguishes rabbits from hares. Then I wouldn’t have to try yet again to plow through encyclopedia articles and dictionaries, because I’ve never understood what I found there anyway. And I would be on my way to understanding what distinguishes Kaninchen from Hasen.
    All I know is that rabbits are smaller than hares – I think.

  2. rabbits are domestic, hares are wildlife

  3. Yes, but there are domesticated hares, and wild rabbits. None of that tells me anything about the differences and similarities.

  4. Grumbly, you might have better luck looking up “leporidae.” My brief impression is that the categories “rabbit” and “hare” are paraphyletic — they are historical and conventional, rather than based on phylogeny.

  5. there are domesticated hares, and wild rabbits
    really? i always thought if domestic animals then rabbits, if on its own in the fields – hares
    and rabbits are kinda like all white in my popular imagination, hares are always brownish grey :)
    hope it helps :P

  6. ignoramus says:

    Rabbits love Warrens and breed in them in such privacy, Hares nest on top of the ground and a keep to themselves and their hind legs be longer so in up hill chase they win but down hill chase they lose, then hares have to be jugged but bunnies do not. Rabbits are easily caught in headlights, no fun.
    In March they luv to run in circles and run the rest of the time, like hell just to stay in place.

  7. Neither rabbits nor hares are rodents. Also, they eat everything twice instead of having four stomachs like cows to digest the cellulose. Furthermore, if you feed them on pellet chow the food you give them looks almost exactly the same as what comes out the second time.
    That’s how you distinguish rabbits and hares, said Humpty Dumpty.

  8. Trond Engen says:

    Rabbits live in colonies and dig underground shelters while hares are solitary and have nests on the ground.

  9. In a restaurant in France once, I was told that the main ingredient in the dish I was ordering was a “savage rabbit”. So, somebody definitely thinks they can be wild.

  10. marie-lucie says:

    y, you mean “wild rabbit” (du lapin sauvage) (not a whole rabbit, any more than you would eat a whole chicken). Like all wild animals their meat has a stronger, less bland flavour than domesticated ones, and they are very good to eat. In Europe many people hunt rabbits for food, as well as keeping them in cages for the same purpose.
    Rabbits exist in the wild in both Eurasia and America. Like hares the wild ones are a nondescript mixed greyish-brownish colour which blends with the forest floor. When they stay motionless with their legs under them you can hardly see them until they move. White (albino) rabbits would be at risk in the wild, but in domesticated rabbits this mutation (and some others) has been encouraged by intentional breeding. On the other hand, Artic hares naturally change colour from brownish in the summer to white in the winter.
    Hares live in the open and can cover long distances thanks to their long bodies and legs, unlike rabbits which are more compactly built and which bound rather than run in their forest habitat. In the US hares are called “jackrabbits” while real rabbits are called “cottontails” because their little tails look like fluffy balls of cotton.

  11. “Rabbit” is the everyday word. “Hare” is a synonym, useless except for punning in the titles of Bugs Bunny cartoons.
    No, seriously, there is a big difference, especially in infancy. A baby hare is called a leveret. Its eyes are open. It lives out in the open. A baby rabbit is called a baby bunny. Its eyes are closed. It lives in a hole in the ground.
    In case I have not made myself clear, let me add that the jackrabbit is a hare, while the Belgian hare is a rabbit. The local rabbit in my part of the world is the Eastern cottontail. It does not lay its eggs underground, but is considered a true rabbit nevertheless.

  12. In Wobegon we do not eat the Easter Bunny.

  13. marie-lucie says:

    In France we don’t have an Easter Bunny. If you want something different from a chocolate egg at Easter, you can choose from a chocolate hen or a chocolate bell. (If there are chocolate bunnies nowadays, it is due to galloping americanization).

  14. There’s great story to be told about the false friendship of Kaninchen and kenigl with ‘Little king’, but I’m tired. It has to do with Cuniculus. My uncle wrote some books called Bunnicula. Which is nearly a portmanteau of ‘Bunny’ and ‘Cunicul(a)’, which would be pleonastic and therefore a member of the ludic class of portmanteaux that we were discussing earlier.

  15. My brief impression is that the categories “rabbit” and “hare” are paraphyletic — they are historical and conventional, rather than based on phylogeny.
    HP: thanks for the leporidae link. But as to the terms being paraphyletic – the very notion of phylogeny is historical and conventional, as are all scientific categories, viewpoints and working understandings. Scientists are generally willing to admit this only ad hoc, after a change in (for lack of a better word) paradigms. Wouldn’t it be zippier nowadays to say that “rabbit” and “hare” are paracladistic?
    If there are chocolate bunnies nowadays, it is due to galloping americanization
    More likely galloping teutonification, if you’re talking about France. No German child could survive Christmas and Easter without chocolate bunnies. They come in all sizes, and it’s big money. Somebody invented the Goldhase (golden hare), which I think is available all year round. In 2007 there was a legal battle between the Swiss Lindt company and an Austrian family-owned business, as to who held the copyright/patent to the Goldhase.

  16. Grumbly, there are hares in Norway. I’m sure you must have seen a rabbit. Well, if you ever see a hare you will immediately know the difference.
    In Tyskland and Norway they say kanin and they have the additional word kamin, meaning fireplace or stove. For me this means “put another log on the rabbit”-type jokes, but native speakers find them very tiresome.
    Hello, y. That made me laugh.

  17. Golden hare. (Masquerade.)

  18. In the OED, the word “puss” or “pussy” meant any soft furry thing, such as cats, rabbits, or women of easy virture.

  19. I am amazed that no-one has mentioned the English cognate of Kaninchen, i.e. coney. Irish uses the word coinnín which, as Kaninchen, is technically a diminutive. Scots Gaelic has rabaid.

  20. “savage rabbit’
    i recalled a joke, not sure about translation, but it sounds hilarious in my language
    so the hare’s got a gun and comes to the bear’s bar and pif-paf! orders the bear to come out – the bear grunts, but comes out – pif-paf! shit! shit this minute! – well, what to do, the bear tries and shits – now, eat, eat it up! – pi.. there the bullets were all gone and the hare says – za odoo yaaya gekh ve dee, ööröö l idekhees – means – well, now what can i do, i’ll eat it myself (but in English it doesn’t sound as funny as in my language, i can’t translate the tone of indignation of how he says it)

  21. I am amazed that no-one has mentioned the English cognate of Kaninchen, i.e. coney.
    Which fell out of use because of its homonymy with cunny. It survives in the name Coney Island (originally Conyne Eylandt).

  22. J. W. Brewer says:

    In an apparently less Beavis-and-Butthead-minded age, “coney” was a perfectly good word suitable for ecclesiastical use (see Lev. 11:5 and Deut. 14:7 in the King James Version, the latter verse contrasing the coney to the hare). Unfortunately, the venerable fathers who did the translation may have been a little vague on Middle Eastern zoology and/or its Hebrew lexical representation, because more recent translators think the animal being referred to was not a bunny-rabbit but rather a “rock badger” which is some sort of hyrax. Wie sagt man “sausage-made-of-hyrax” auf Deutsch?

  23. Everyone seems to use a different name for guinea pig, whereas many languages have hamster. “Ham” & “pig” are only coincidence, apparently, though they taste very similar.

  24. “Coney” still exists (in <Br.E>) in “Coney Hall”, just on the outskirts of West Wickham (Kent).

  25. The word cony is also sometimes applied to the pika, the other lagomorph. I just learned from Wikipedia that the latter is pronounced with the vowel of pike, not peak. WP also says:
    They show their peak activity before the winter season. Pikas do not hibernate, so they rely on collected hay for warm bedding and food. Pikas gather fresh grasses and lay them in stacks to dry. Once the grasses dry out, the pikas take this hay back to the burrows for storage. It is not uncommon for pikas to steal hay from others; the resulting disputes are usually exploited by neighboring predators like ferrets and large birds.
    I would guess that in those long winter evenings they tell each other tales about all of that: Epics of the larger-than-life heroes of the hay-wars of days gone by, cautionary tales of the price of greed, and so on.

  26. The hyrax is not a lagomorph. I confess that I tend to put hyrax and pika into the same mental pigeonhole of “funny little mammals that run around in rocky landscapes”, even though I know that they are not close relatives.
    The standard about the hyrax is that it is the closest relative of the elephant. Steven Pinker used this in lampooning efforts to develop the language capacity of chimps. (Thinking that chimps should be able to develop vocabulary and syntax just because they are the closest living relatives of humans is like thinking that hyraxes should be able to develop their noses into useful trunks because …)

  27. the standard factoid about the hyrax

  28. Then there’s Donnie Darko. I assume it was an evil hare that haunted him, not a sweet little bunny rab gone savage.
    The March hare was a bit off kilter himself, possibly a precursor.
    And then there’s Meister Lampe the hare, who first appears in print in 1498 in Reynke de vos (Reinecke the Fox). The personality of Meister Lampe is characterized by impertinence and fearfulness. In Reynke de vos, Lampe gets eaten by the fox in book 1. The plot is very complicated. In the no-holds-barred duel between the wolf and Reynke at the end of the final book 4, things get pretty nasty – as in so many German fairy tales. They would be better called German gory tales. But please, no one need bother to get out their bones of plastic indignation to chew at me, on the subject of “Oh those horrible Germans”. Read your own national history books first, then consider whether you have a leg to stand on (the other one having recently been blown off by a land mine).
    Here is the plot summary of the end of Reynke de vos, from the above WiPe link:

    Die Sorgen des dem Wolf körperlich unterlegenen Fuchses vertreibt die Äffin Rukenauwe; auf ihren Rat hin lässt Reynke sich das Fell scheren und die nackte Haut einölen, bevor er vor dem versammelten Hof zum Kampf antritt. Dem Druck des starken Wolfs entkommt er, indem er ihm ins Auge kratzt, einen Strahl Urin in die Wunde schießt und Sand hinterherschmeißt. Von dem vor Schmerz rasenden Wolf in die tödliche Zange genommen, kneipt er ihm in die Hoden. Das Publikum ist begeistert, Nobel erklärt Reynke zu seinem Thronrat, und Ysegrim lässt sich gesund pflegen.

    The fox’s worries about the wolf’s physical superiority cause Mrs. Monkey Rukenauswe to flee {?, see comment below]. As she advises him to do, the fox orders his fur to be shaved off and his naked skin to be oiled before he appears for battle before the assembled court. He escapes the grip of the powerful wolf by scratching him in the eye, directing a stream of urine into the wound and then throwing sand into it. The wolf, raging in pain, gets a fatal headlock on the fox. But the fox gives the wolf’s testicles a good pinch. The audience goes wild with enthusiasm, [the lion king] Noble makes Reynke his regal advisor, and Ysegrim [the wolf] goes off to recover from his wounds.

    This section of the German plot summary appears to have a wrong word in the first sentence. Umtreiben (cause to be concerned) would make sense, but vertreiben (drive away) doesn’t, as I understand the rest of the paragraph. I haven’t read Reynke de vos, however.

  29. The above link for Meister Lampe should be as it is here. Somehow the address of this comment thread got into the link.

  30. i always imagined that Coney island is perhaps from the word con, maybe there the first settlers were the conmen, but now if it’s rabbit island some charm is like gone
    should have written pif-paf-paf to show more the hare’s wastefulness with the bullets
    another silly animal joke i recalled, so the hare once goes by his business in the forest and sees how the wolf was taking feathers from his wife hen’s coat while she’s screaming
    - what are you doing, mr. wolf, that’s wife mistreatment! – we’ve been married for three years now and i’ve never seen her naked yet

  31. Lewis Trondheim’s BD series “Les formidables aventures de Lapinot” were translated into English as “The Spiffy Adventures of McConey.” I’m not sure the translation is appropriate because of some French nuance I’m missing (in the eighth volume, a character named Serge Blomfeld meets Lapinot and asks, “Lapinot, c’est vraiment votre nom?” “Bin… oui.” “Et vous n’avez pas un prénom?” “Si, mais personne ne l’utilise. C’est comme ça depuis l’école.” “Ah… Moi, quand on m’appelle juste Blomfeld, c’est souvent par antisémitisme. C’est pour ça qu je posais la question.”), but it did remind me of the word “Coney,” for which I’m grateful.

  32. read, from the Mongolian jokes that you have sketched in recently I get the impression that they are very different from the kind of jokes I am familiar with from America and Germany. I suspect I would have to know something about Mongolian culture(s) and traditions to be able to appreciate them. Unfortunately, I know nothing.
    Also, a lot of jokes are very hard to translate. The kind that are based on a pun in the original language, for example, always fall flat because the explanation of how the pun works is not itself funny, and spoils the joke itself.

  33. Moi, quand on m’appelle juste Blomfeld, c’est souvent par antisémitisme. C’est pour ça qu je posais la question.
    Moacir: the souvent is very interesting. In Britain, I think – as I know it from novels – it was usual for schoolboys (public-school only ?) to call each other by their last names. That’s the case also in Le Grand Meaulnes, as the title itself indicates. Perhaps in the schools of “Les formidables aventures de Lapinot” there were situations in which first names were used, but where Blomfeld was still called Blomfeld par antisémitisme. I hope marie-lucie can help explain this social subtlety.

  34. And then there’s Meister Lampe the hare, who first appears in print in 1498 in Reynke de vos (Reinecke the Fox).
    Stu, I’m not sure it’s the same, but it sure sounds like it. Apparently Caxton translated Reynard The Fox into English in 1481 (thereby beating Germany, as we also did by scoring 2 goals in extra time at Wembley in 1966).
    See here

  35. Apparently Caxton translated Reynard The Fox into English in 1481 (thereby beating Germany …
    <*fidgets*>
    I could have written “first appears in print in German in 1498 in Reynke de vos”, but decided that would have made too many “in …” expressions in a row.
    <*wipes sweat from brow*>
    Anyway, at the beginning of the Wipe article it says the original story in Low German goes back to the 13th century. Wembley was only a return match.
    <*sits back, reaches for mint julep*>

  36. read, from the Mongolian jokes that you have sketched in recently I get the impression that they are very different from the kind of jokes I am familiar with from America and Germany. I suspect I would have to know something about Mongolian culture(s) and traditions to be able to appreciate them. Unfortunately, I know nothing.
    are you saying the jokes are not funny :(
    i’m not sure that they are originally our jokes even, but anyway told in my language they sound hilarious
    when people try to understand jokes from the context of one’s general culture etc it would sound as if they imply that the other’s culture is what, mysogynistic, patriarchal, backwards and god knows what else, uh?
    one’s individual sense of humor could be that that one finds married wolf and hen, and wolf trying to see his wife naked be funny and after that long time, and the hare reprimanding the wolf etc
    i thought all was funny there
    well, there are other animal jokes i enjoy, the main point of which is just absurdity and silliness
    but my English is too poor to translate all the nuances maybe, so i’ll restrain from reproducing them here, it’s been pretty many times now, my sense of humor seems to be very different from others’

  37. Stu: You’ve got subject and object reversed in your translation of the opening sentence, that’s why it doesn’t make sense.
    The Apess drives away the (physically weaker) Fox’s worries; following her advice he….
    The object is put into the firat (topic) position in the sentence because the sentence is about the fox’s trepidation, not Rukenauwe.

  38. when people try to understand jokes from the context of one’s general culture etc it would sound as if they imply that the other’s culture is what, mysogynistic, patriarchal, backwards and god knows what else, uh?
    What does general culture mean? There is absolutely no implication that Mongolian culture is “misogynistic, patriarchal, backwards” – I assume that’s what you’re getting at. Anyway, there are people who will tell you that many Western countries are still misogynistic and patriarchal. But that was not what I meant at all.
    It’s just that jokes are often dependent on the exact way they are told, and on cultural background knowledge. Because I’ve been away from America for so long, I often don’t understand jokes on American television channels that are available in Germany, because they seem to be based on some series like “Seinfeld” that I just don’t know.
    My assumption is that Mongolian culture(s) are not basically just the same as American and German ones, with insignificant differences. My assumption is that I’m not really getting the jokes because of my ignorance of Mongolian humor content, not because Mongolian culture is “backward” or because of some problem in the way you sketch them. Just because I know what a hen is doesn’t mean I understand how hens often function in a Mongolian joke. I think Americans don’t understand how pigs sometimes function in German jokes, although Americans know what pigs are.
    Think of the various traditions of “Jewish jokes”, i.e. jokes whose plots involve something Jewish like rabbes, mothers offering chicken soup as a panacea, Yiddish accents etc. I became familiar with some of that growing up in Texas. There were Jewish joke traditions in Germany for many, many hundreds of years. Nowadays, there is hardly a German who would recognize a Yiddish accent, or has heard a “Jewish joke”, or has ever met a Jew. Despite the fact that there are many Jews in Germany. Just around the corner from my apartment is one of the many Jewish primary schools in Cologne, guarded night and day by security guards.
    my sense of humor seems to be very different from others’
    Everybody’s sense of humor has its idiosyncrasies. Not everything I say is taken as funny. Certain people regularly have attacks of righteous indignation at my jokey-poos. “Gory” stories like Reinecke the Fox used to entertain people very much, though perhaps they wouldn’t nowadays – not in the same way, at any rate.

  39. You’ve got subject and object reversed in your translation of the opening sentence
    Gary, you’re right of course. A spot of blindness on my part, i.e. stupid oversight!

  40. I’ve thought about why I made that mistake. It seems that I was intermittently thinking of die Sorgen as die Sorge, as subject to match vertreibt, even thought I translated it with the plural “worries”. The object-subject order tripped me up.

  41. are you saying the jokes are not funny :(
    I think that jokes translate worse than anything else whatsoever, even worse than lyric poetry. I love jokes, but so many jokes depend on tiny nuances of culture and language that even very well informed outsiders can’t get them. Even after years reading Rabelais in Old French and English, and he’s a favorite of mine, many of his jokes still don’t work for me. Aristophanes likewise; no translation of Aristophanes has ever made me laugh, yet if I suspect that if I were an Ancient Greek I’d be a big fan of his. Likewise “Punch” from England. Likewise “Le Canard enchaîné” in French. Even much of Shakespeare. I’ve worked on this problem.
    “Monty Python”, on the other hand, and “Beyond the Fringe”, are hilarious. But cintemporary Britain America are not that far apart.
    The Chinese language Playboy has a page each of Chinese-style and American-style jokes. The one Chinese joke I remember was about father-in-law / daughter-in-law inc*st.
    I have a book of Chinese jokes in Chinese, and it may be the imperfections of my language skills, but I only even got the point of one of them (The punchline was a five year old saying “But Daddy, if I’m too old for you to carry me in your arms, why were you carrying Mommy in your arms last night?”)

  42. I have seen pikas with their hay laid out to dry, all the cut ends facing the same direction. One of the high points of my outdoor experience, along with seeing an ouzel walking around on the bottom of a stream.

  43. an ouzel walking around on the bottom of a stream
    ???

  44. Wie sagt man “sausage-made-of-hyrax” auf Deutsch?
    J.W.: The WiPe says that the Schliefer is often called “hyrax” in English. So it would be Schlieferwurst. Since Schliefer are said to resemble Murmeltiere (marmots), the sausage might also be called Murmelwurst. But this would also mean “marble sausage”, in the sense of glass marbles that kids (used to) play with.
    All in all, your product idea presents a certain number of PR-technische Schwierigkeiten.

  45. A joke very similar to Read’s is told in Russia. Have to say, it strikes me as funnier.
    Идёт заяц по лесу с дробовиком. Навстречу ему лиса. Он её : “Эй лиса пив-пав видишь говно пив-пав если ты его не съешь пив-пав то я тебя убью.” Лиса съела. Подходит к медведю и горорит: “Эй медведь пив-пав видишь говно пив-пав если ты его не съешь чик-чик (патроны кончились), то я его сам съем”.
    I’ll try to translate:
    Hare is strolling through the woods with a submachine gun when he runs into fox. “Hey fox!, pif-paf, see this shit? pif-paf, if you don’t eat it, pif-paf, I’ll kill you.” Fox eats it. Hare goes to bear and says “”Hey bear!, pif-paf, see this shit? pif-paf, if you don’t eat it, click-click (no more bullets), um, I’ll just eat it myself.”
    I can see it being funny with the right sound effects and expressions.

  46. What does general culture mean?
    whatever it means it means, maybe culture is not just national costumes or national specificity of jokes or age-long traditions
    i always thought i feel some people are close and some are very distant and depends not on nationality or race or rich and poor or any other divisive criteria
    just basic human decency, basic not meanness of one’s character is the only thing to perceive that distance i think, so decency=culture imo
    and i mean decency not as in being modest or prudish or conforming to the superficial standards of what is proper

  47. Does “pif-paf” mean “bang-bang”? I initially thought it was a speech impediment, or some incantatory sound as a joke-marker, like “ha, ha” or canned laughter.

  48. Yes, it means “bang-bang” – I should have translated it that way but I was trying to connect my joke to Read’s joke. Both versions of the joke are probably funnier to English speakers if you say “bang-bang”.

  49. pi-paf-paf means the sound of the gun firing
    about the hare joke, it shows that when one’s armed one can be so bravely a bully and his immediate reducing to the eating shit himself when the circumstances change
    the funniest thing is the display of indignation with which the bully who has to eat shit does so
    we have a saying about that “öödöö shidsen chuluu ööriin tolgoi deer” means the stone thrown upwards falls on the head of the thrower
    or the saying about bats ” sanaa muut yavan khatna, sarisan bagvaakhai narand khatna” – basically it means a schemer gets trapped in his own scheme can be used too

  50. A speech impediment because of the harelip. Or as the Russian equivalent of Bugs Bunny’s lepidolect.

  51. I meant leporidolect

  52. ignoramus says:

    Hare raising stories:
    1: Plodding wins the race
    2: There is always someone worse off than yourself
    3: He that has many friends, has no friends,
    No one can be a friend if you know not whether to trust or distrust him
    see Esop {aesop} fables, but never a bunny story.
    re written many times:
    Some people have a funny bone and others have no sense of Humour— period :
    Also many can never tell a joke, no matter how well versed in a language they be:
    Here is a badly told story of a new inmate of a Stalag, as part of his indoctrination, was given sheets of tissue with jokes on them and each was numbered.
    He asked why he needed these sheets, and was told that the jokes have been told so many times that just numbers were used to get a laugh, so that night in the wee hours, someone called out a number, all the bunks rattled with Laughter, when all was quiet, then someone else called another number, more guffaws ensured , when all was quiet, the new lad gave a number, and silence was deafening, so being upset, the Lad in the morning asked why no one laughed, was promptly told that he did know how to tell a joke.
    In my ill gotten youth, I liked to watch hares do the maddening march mating dance to excite the local maidens.

  53. Ouzel, properly water ouzel or dipper.

  54. I’m sure ignoramous can confirm this, in England clubs of long-distance runners are called “harriers”. The Frinton-On-Sea Harriers, or the Epping Harriers, named after the dog that chases hares. These human harriers are small and pink and very thin and they wear vests with horizontal stripes with a number pinned on the back. Their thin, pale legs are splashed with mud.

  55. ignoramus says:

    thanks for the reminder, the dog, the successful plane, mad runners and bird too..

  56. In Taiwan there were the Hash House Harriers, a cross-country running group that could also be used as a drinking club. It had a distinctly British-colonial flavor even though the British never colonized Taiwan.

  57. ignoramus says:

    then of course the office harrier now outlawed

  58. J. W. Brewer says:

    I appreciate Grumbly Stu’s information about Schlieferwurst, although going back to scripture on the German side it looks like Dr. Martin Luther didn’t know about the hyrax either because, to get back to our starting point, the Luther Bibel has “Kaninchen” (contrasted with “Hase” for “hare”) in the two places the KJV has “coney.” Of course the Lutherans taught that Christians were not obligated to observe the dietary laws in those passages, making Kaninchen a-ok for Wurstmaking purposes despite being trayf.

  59. J. W. Brewer says:

    I appreciate Grumbly Stu’s information about Schlieferwurst, although going back to scripture on the German side it looks like Dr. Martin Luther didn’t know about the hyrax either because, to get back to our starting point, the Luther Bibel has “Kaninchen” (contrasted with “Hase” for “hare”) in the two places the KJV has “coney.” Of course the Lutherans taught that Christians were not obligated to observe the dietary laws in those passages, making Kaninchen a-ok for Wurstmaking purposes despite being trayf.

  60. The smutty meanings of the coney-pussy comples are at least as old as the zoological ones. It’s one of those archetypal human universals wired in the brain.

  61. My 16-year-old son just told me more about the whole pika hay-storage thing. You see, he did a research paper about pikas in school 7 years ago, and it made a very big impression on him. Anyway, he just reminded me that some pikas routinely set aside special poisonous plants to the dry, along with the grass. They save this stuff to eat at the end of the winter, by which time it is no longer harmful. In the meantime it has a beneficial effect, somehow preventing the other food from spoiling.

  62. The Hash House Harriers are very well-known among the British expat community in Brussels, they call themselves a drinking club with a running problem.
    I’d never heard of Schliefer, on Language Hat, you learn something new every day.

  63. bruessel: I’d never heard of Schliefer either. I found it among the search results after entering “hyrax” in the search field of the German WiPe.

  64. Dictionaries seem to be all over the place on the origin of the word “harrier”. Related to “hare” or not?
    -
    Here is a recipe for marmot sausage. Well, it’s woodchuck sausage, but the woodchuck is truly an American marmot (I mean, it’s not just sort of reminiscent of a marmot like the Schliefer; it’s another large ground squirrel; in fact it’s classified in the genus Marmota.)
    -
    The Online Etymological dictionary says of hot dog that it “is said to echo a 19c. suspicion (occasionally justified) that sausages contained dog meat”.
    -
    According to WiPe, the hyracoids, ancestors of the hyraxes, elephants, and sea cows, were the dominant herbivores of Africa before the bovines came along; and they came in a great variety of sizes.

  65. marie-lucie says:

    names in school:
    It used to be that French boys above a fairly young age were addressed by their last names in school. Between ages 10 and 16 I went to a school that had a majority of boys (girls were admitted because there was no other public school which taught Latin, so if a girl failed Latin, she was expelled from that school). No boys called each other by their first names unless they already knew each other from their earlier years or were relatives. If for instance there were two brothers, they would be called “le grand X” and “le petit X”. Girls were addressed by their first names (the older ones were Mademoiselle X – for the teachers, not the other students)) and addressed boys by their last names, unless they were in a relationship, but they rarely referred to them by their first names in public. Later I went to an all girl school where the teachers (all women) called us “Mademoiselle X” or by first + last name, except one who called us by our last names, among other eccentricities.
    I think that the use of first names with boys is probably more frequent now (at an older age from when I went to school).
    “Lapinot”: it is a diminutive of “lapin”, but one can also read another joke in it.

  66. In France we don’t have an Easter Bunny. If you want something different from a chocolate egg at Easter, you can choose from a chocolate hen or a chocolate bell. (If there are chocolate bunnies nowadays, it is due to galloping americanization).
    Marie-Lucie: I recall chocolate fish, too ?

  67. m-l, using the boys’ last names only at school is, or was, normal in Britain. One of the silly fake traditions so beloved of English public schools is calling the (e.g.) Jones brothers Jones major, Jones minor and Jones minimus. Nowadays Minimus is used less pedantically with children learning Latin.

  68. My four brothers and I went to the same school, though the most in school at the same time was four. We all had some of the same teachers, and it’s possible that we all had the same third and/or fifth grade teacher. This would have pushed the British system pretty hard, though it wasn’t designed for a 12-year school I suppose.

  69. As for fake traditions, the Ming-era fake Han artifacts are now highly prized collectibles, and there’s a famous story about a French aristocrat whose family (rightly or wrongly) had claimed descent from Charlemagne or someone of that sort for untold centuries.

  70. marie-lucie says:

    JE: a French aristocrat whose family (rightly or wrongly) had claimed descent from Charlemagne or someone of that sort for untold centuries.
    No doubt they were not the only ones. There is an organization in France, reputed to have at least 10,000 members, la Société des descendants de Saint Louis, Saint Louis being King Louis IX, who died during one of the Crusades in the 13th century. Saint Louis did not have illegitimate children, but many other monarchs did, so there can be a great many descendants of a famous monarch from many centuries ago through both the legitimate and illegitimate children. In France, since women were excluded from the throne according to the Frankish “Salic law”, descendants of a king’s daughters are not usually known to history, but they are also included in compiling the genealogies.

  71. My wife used to run with the Taiwan hash, back in the day. I ran with the hash in Kiev for a while, good fun but the runs were not as scenic as in Taiwan.

  72. rootlesscosmo says:

    “Now hare done in Royal Style is a real piece into which go not only your hare and a belly of pork but white wine and meat juice, pears and prunes, garlic, herbs, onions, chestnuts mushrooms, truffles, red wine, and ham… Like all game (and even that glutinous horror, rabbit) the Royal Style is better experienced in the country.”
    Alan Houghton Broderick, Cross-Channel, cited in Elizabeth David, Mediterranean Food. (bold type added)
    This is followed by a recipe that begins:
    “You require a male hare, with red fur, killed if possible in mountainous country; of fine French descent (characterized by the light nervous elegance of head and limbs), weighing from 5 to 6 pounds, that is to say older than a leveret but still adolescent. The important thing is that the hare should have been cleanly killed and so not have lost a drop of blood.
    (Translated by Elizabeth David from Le Temps of November 29, 1898)

  73. marie-lucie says:

    that glutinous horror, rabbit
    WHAT! I don’t know where Mr Broderick ate rabbit, but I ate plenty of rabbit in my youth at my grandparents’ place in Southern France, and I have occasionally cooked and eaten some more recently, and “glutinous” and “horror” are not at all the words I would use for rabbit meat. My grandmother cooked it in a stew, and for special occasions her recipe was the local lapin aux olives, a stew of rabbit with green olives. Some people compare the meat to chicken, but it has a firmer flesh (more like turkey) and practically no fat, and of course a different, stronger but very pleasant taste. Farm-raised rabbit has a blander taste which disappoints me but which would probably appeal to persons unfamiliar with the meat. Believe me, rabbit meat is NOT “glutinous”.

  74. How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

  75. I agree with m-l: rabbit is a fine dish. Could Broderick have been eating okra under the impression it was rabbit?

  76. David Marjanović says:

    Rabbits: smaller, shorter ears, shorter head, and they make extensive burrow systems (hares just dig a shallow pit and lie down in it).

    In Europe many people hunt rabbits for food, as well as keeping them in cages for the same purpose.

    Most of that is limited to France now. Where I come from, lagomorphs are just not eaten anymore.

    Wouldn’t it be zippier nowadays to say that “rabbit” and “hare” are paracladistic?

    Except that that term neither exists nor is at all comprehensible… :-|
    BTW, Leporidae has a capital letter.

    The standard about the hyrax is that it is the closest relative of the elephant.

    Hyraxes and sea cows are probably even closer relatives, but together they are indeed the closest living relatives of the elephants.

    In Britain, I think – as I know it from novels – it was usual for schoolboys (public-school only ?) to call each other by their last names.

    “Scared, Potter?” – “Yyyyyyou wwwwwwissssh.”

    I can see it being funny with the right sound effects and expressions.

    Actually, the funniest part to me is the submachine gun… “No More Mr. Nice Guy”… :-D :-D :-D
    Any Terminator sunglasses? :-)

    basically it means a schemer gets trapped in his own scheme can be used too

    Wer ander[e]n eine Grube gräbt, fällt selbst hinein. If you dig a hole for others [to fall in], you’ll fall in it yourself.

    “Lapinot”: it is a diminutive of “lapin”, but one can also read another joke in it.

    One about la pine, or have I simply hung out in worse circles than you…?

    Saint Louis did not have illegitimate children

    Oh, so that’s why he was canonized! And there I was thinking it was because of the crusade! :-o

    the hyracoids [...] were the dominant herbivores of Africa before the bovines came along; and they came in a great variety of sizes.

    Yes. Some, with names like Antilohyrax and Titanohyrax, had the sizes and shapes of antelopes.

    , ancestors of the hyraxes, elephants, and sea cows,

    No, the cover term for these three is Paenungulata. Hyracoidea is just the hyraxes (in the broadest sense, though – with all those glorious, underreported fossils in it).

    How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

    Woodchucks can, in fact, chuck wood. I forgot at what rate (1 cm³/h or something), but it was measured and published in the Annals of Improbable Research (I’ve read the paper). I think it won an IgNobel Prize.

  77. it wasn’t designed for a 12-year school I suppose
    A lot of schools have their own ‘prep’ schools, so you could end up doing 12 years, as with a murder conviction. I would have liked to see all five of you there, studying transcendentalism.
    For Easter, in parts of Mexico, they eat rabbit in a mole sauce.

  78. David: paracladistic … that term neither exists nor is at all comprehensible… :-|
    You know what a phylum is, you know what a clade is. You also know what a paraphylum is, and what a paraclade is. So you must find “paraphyletic” and “paracladistic” intelligible, is it not? If not, why not?

  79. Maybe “paracladic” is more appropriate than “paracladistic.

  80. rootlesscosmo says:

    Believe me, rabbit meat is NOT “glutinous”.
    @marie-lucie: I agree completely. The Broderick quote was to illustrate that some people claim to be able to distnguish rabbit from hare on the plate.
    I’m partial to rabbit ragù (disjoint bunny and brown sections in hot oil, braise over low heat in red wine and stock with dried porcini and aromatics ad lib. until very tender, remove and discard bones, return meat in shreds to braising liquid, serve as a condimento with pasta.) I’ve never found any non-farm-raised rabbit in the Bay Area but, as you say, even the farm-raised kind can be very good food. Rabbit in mole sounds delicious; does it, like ragù, produce a fairly homogeneous sauce, or do you get intact joints of meat with mole spooned on?

  81. Here is a picture of a dish with a plain old salsa mole. It can be spooned on, or poured over a pile of pieces of meat in a big dish. (You’ll have to modify the URl by removing the underscore in “goya_”, because of Hat’s filters.)
    A recipe more familiar to me, because it has cumin and almonds, is this simplified mole poblano, with a photo of the goodness slowly cooking in the sartén. Here is a more elaborate mole poblano recipe, which even has a chipotle in it, to me the crowning ingredient!
    You don’t have to wait until Easter to have this. I advise making it once a month, at least, to keep your spirits up.
    Hat: why is “ya dot com” questionable content ??

  82. I was recently astonished to find that Pinnipeds (seals, sea lions, and walruses) are now classified in the ‘dog-like” half of the Carnivore order, closest to the skunks and weasels and farthest from the cats, civets, and hyenas in the “cat-like” half.
    Carnivora

  83. marie-lucie says:

    DM: lapinot: I was waiting for a man to give the answer.
    Saint Louis: it is true that he was canonized by the Pope for political reasons, but he was also considered a saint throughout the kingdom, where most of his initiatives and reforms were very beneficial to the country. He is especially remembered for his concern for justice and for the poor, and had a reputation for fairness and wisdom both at home and abroad. As for his private life: he was raised by his mother, who was the regent and kept a firm hand on her son; she arranged his marriage when he and his bride were very young, and they came to love each other. The regent queen probably feared that the influence of his wife would take her son away from her, and she tried to keep the young people apart, so that for a time they had to steal kisses on stairways and otherwise sneak around for some privacy, even though they were married. But in time they had eleven children, almost all of whom reached adulthood, a record in those times.

  84. ignoramus says:

    A.J.P. “Morris” Minor at December 6,,
    I guess they did not let you rumble around at Thaxted.
    ‘Tis better to be an Austin 7

  85. Rabbit in mole sounds delicious
    Yes, doesn’t it?
    does it, like ragù, produce a fairly homogeneous sauce
    It would maybe depend on the kind of mole. Grumbly’s poblano and the nero both contain what to me is the crowning ingredient of an Easter bunny, namely chocolate.
    do you get intact joints of meat with mole spooned on?
    That was certainly my image. I invented this Mexican Easter dish myself & I’ve yet to make it. I’ll probably try a mole on guinea pig first, they’re easier to find in Norway. Mole on mole is also a possibility; there’s not much meat there, but you can use the skin to make a small pair of trousers.
    Bon appetit!

  86. You’ll never get to Heaven in an Austin 7.

  87. ignoramus says:

    Re: Names in English school. Many had odd attachments to their moniker [last name]besides major and minor, if there be more than one Jones, there be Red, paleface, Jam, sleepy etc..
    Mine be “lost fox”, why I do not know, Still never did know the Christian names, mostly letters like
    M F E Vancen: all sports events were done this way along with A. N. Other.

  88. David Marjanović says:

    You know what a phylum is, you know what a clade is. You also know what a paraphylum is, and what a paraclade is.

    I’ve never seen the term “paraclade” and can’t figure out what it might mean.
    (Also, “phylum” is not defined, it’s a term like “class” or “order” or “family” or “genus”. “Paraphylum” isn’t really derived from “phylum”.)

    I was recently astonished to find that Pinnipeds (seals, sea lions, and walruses) are now classified in the ‘dog-like” half of the Carnivore order, closest to the skunks and weasels and farthest from the cats, civets, and hyenas in the “cat-like” half.

    AFAIK it’s been that way for decades. Or at least that’s the phylogeny people assumed, even if they made separate classifications that didn’t reflect that part of the phylogeny.
    Confirmation that Pinnipedia is a clade, however (that is, that those animals all share a common ancestor that was already aquatic), is recent (last 10 to 15 years or so) – some had suggested separate origins from weasels, bears, and I forgot what else.

    so that for a time they had to steal kisses on stairways and otherwise sneak around for some privacy, even though they were married.

    That explains a lot!

    A.J.P. Megkoronáz-Yacaré

    Caiman yacare.

  89. You people are making me hungry. You can get a lot of things in the Pioneer Valley, but I suspect a good mole isn’t one of them.

  90. (Er, mole as in sauce. You can certainly get moles of the “small pair of trousers” variety, though I’m not sure how you’d decide on what a “good” one was.)

  91. The relation of pinnipeds to Musteloidea (weasel type critter) actually makes sense when you realize that otters are weasel-type critters.
    This probably isn’t good biological thinking, but it’s satisfying folk biology. Otters are most seal-like non-seals I can think of.

  92. Thanks, Daff. I was introduced to the Caiman yacare by Julia at Poemas del río Wang, a blog coming from your part of the world.
    To me, a good pair of trousers is one that doesn’t hibernate in winter.

  93. Otters do NOT eat penguins.

  94. J Blakeslee says:

    In case there is still confusion:
    European Rabbit
    European Hare
    They are two different species, readily distinguishable by the shape of their heads, among other things. Both exist in the wild; rabbits have been domesticated, hares have not.

  95. Kron, you just aren’t cooking the penguins properly. Almost nobody likes that stuff you call barbecue sauce, least of all otters.

  96. If you are a bald man, you can tattos of rabbits on your head because from a distance they will look like hares.

  97. Let’s try again.
    If you are a bald man, you can get tattoos of rabbits on your head, because from a distance they will look like hares.

  98. What do you say when the goat swallows the rabbit?
    “There’s a hare in the butter”.

  99. Seals eat penguins. They say it tastes just like chicken (which means of course that chicken tastes just like penguin).

  100. Glyn, what does the “Z” stand for?

  101. “In Europe many people hunt rabbits for food, as well as keeping them in cages for the same purpose.
    Most of that is limited to France now. Where I come from, lagomorphs are just not eaten anymore.”
    I don’t find that logical. Just because rabbits aren’t eaten where you come from, that doesn’t mean their consumption in Europe is limited to France. What about Belgium, Germany and Italy? Or indeed Vienna: on its website, the Hotel Sacher has a recipe for Kaninchenrückenfilet mit Gemüseauflauf.

  102. Trond Engen says:

    On an awkward sideline, the word ‘penguin’ was Dutch for la gare du nord.

  103. No, the cover term for these three is Paenungulata. Hyracoidea is just the hyraxes (in the broadest sense, though – with all those glorious, underreported fossils in it).
    You’re probably right, DM. I was relying (often a bad idea) on a statement from WiPe:
    The descendants of the giant hyracoids evolved in different ways. Some became smaller, and gave rise to the modern hyrax family. Others appear to have taken to the water (perhaps like the modern capybara), and ultimately gave rise to the elephant family, and perhaps also the Sirenians (dugongs and manatees).

  104. Wer andern eine Grube graebt, faellt selbst hinein.
    Ther’s letters seald: and my two Schoolefellowes
    Whom I will trust as I will Adders fang’d,
    They bear the mandat; they must sweep my way,
    And marshall me to Knauery. Let it worke,
    For tis the sport to haue the enginer
    Hoist with his owne petar, an’t shall goe hard
    But I will delue one yard belowe their mines,
    And blowe them at the Moone.
    –Hamlet (“Hamlet”, III.iv.202-209)
    (There’s a pun odoriferating the projected sportive dismemberment, in that Hamlet is predicting that ‘they who would have smelt it, will not have dealt it’.)

  105. Seals eat penguins. They say it tastes just like chicken
    The seals know how chicken tastes?

  106. European Rabbit…European Hare…They are two different species
    I’ve never heard anybody use the word “hare”. In conversation it’s always “rabbit”, even for the Wobegon jackrabbits, who are apparently not biological rabbits. Maybe “hare” is a British usage?
    Welsh rabbit–caws pobi–I’m still trying to work out the recipe for this…

  107. Hares & rabbits are different, Nij. Look at the top end of the comments.

  108. Hares & rabbits different
    If you’re reading a biology textbook, perhaps, or in Norway perhaps, but I have still never heard the word “hare” in ordinary conversation here. Perhaps I’ve been corrupted by descriptivists into thinking that might matter.

  109. “On an awkward sideline, the word ‘penguin’ was Dutch for la gare du nord.”
    It’s Monday morning, so my brain is probably not quite in gear yet, but I followed the link to the Great Auk and I’m not getting it. A little help?
    Nijma: Google tells me there is a reggae club in Chicago called the Wild Hare, so somebody must use the word: http://www.wildharemusic.com

  110. Here is a picture of a young(ish)hare. Since it’s drawn by Dürer, you won’t find a better one except in the flesh.

  111. Nij: but I have still never heard the word “hare” in ordinary conversation here.
    That doesn’t mean they don’t exist, you’re splitting hares. Doesn’t anyone say “mad as a March hare” or do they all say “mad as a hatter” instead?

  112. It appears that “gare” is a word for “auk”, at least in English. I don’t know about Dutch.

  113. Thanks for pointing out the pun in “Lapinot” that makes “McConey” the best English translation. I’m still a calembour n00b–it was only two months ago that I pieced together what the name of the store I pass every day, Kiloutou, means (though that’s just non-standard orthography, so maybe it’s not properly wordplay).
    As for school naming conventions, the peculiar one in undergrad was to frequently refer to people by their email address, back when it was automatically generated following the pattern of first initial + second initial + first six letters of the last name.
    A number of my friends, up to a decade after the fact, have nicknames derived from their usernames. An example:
    S. P. Eccleston > speccles > Speckles > Spex, Goggles

  114. I can reliably report that rabbit (preferably wild) has been regular eaten in Eltham, Tunbridge Wells and Chainhurst (all South-East England); the rabbit most recently eaten here (Chainhurst) was found late one evening in Lughorse Lane, sadly killed by traffic but still completely whole. We cooked it in a pie, first softening the rabbit by stewing with leeks, then placing the jointed animal, leeks and juices in a pie dish, placing a layer of lemon slices on the top, covering with glazed shortcrust pastry and baking at 180C (fan oven) for circa 25 minutes. Serve with boiled Amorosa potatoes.

  115. I’m glad to see people eating roadkill. Well done!

  116. Trond Engen says:

    I followed the link to the Great Auk and I’m not getting it. A little help?
    It appears that “gare” is a word for “auk”, at least in English. I don’t know about Dutch.
    Dutch was a strange miswriting for French. Well, not that strange. I misedited what started as a longer digression.
    The Southern penguin was named by the Dutch for its likeness with the great auk.
    Eng., Fr., Du. penguin “great auk” pengwyn “(lit.) whitehead”.
    great auk = garefowl
    => there’s a Northern penguin
    => il y a une gare du nord

  117. Well, Nij, I guess hares and rabbits have been run together in your dialect of English. They still have to be distinguished, of course; it’s just that you’ve lost the word for one of them. I guess you might distinguish them as ‘jackrabbits’?
    In Australia we use ‘hare’ quite commonly.

  118. Trond, I have nominated you for The Great Panjandrum Medal of Distinction In Learned Punning.

  119. Here is the story of The Great Panjandrum:

    So she went into the garden
    to cut a cabbage-leaf
    to make an apple-pie;
    and at the same time
    a great she-bear, coming down the street,
    pops its head into the shop.
    What! no soap?
         So he died,
    and she very imprudently married the Barber:
    and there were present
    the Picninnies,
         and the Joblillies,
                   and the Garyulies,
    and the great Panjandrum himself,
    with the little round button at top;
    and they all fell to playing the game of catch-as-catch-can,
    till the gunpowder ran out at the heels of their boots

  120. Well, Nij, I guess hares and rabbits have been run together in your dialect of English. They still have to be distinguished, of course; it’s just that you’ve lost the word for one of them.
    Yes, my dialect, too. I can imagine a process like this: English people settle the east coast of N Am. They see rabbits and they know what to call them because they had rabbits at home. Many generations pass. They haven’t seen a hare in ages. They remember the word but having begun thinking of it as a foreignish word for rabbit, something you read about in books, basically a rabbit, right? They spread west, where there are hares (or anyway something more like a European hare than like a European or American rabbit). They need a name for them, they make up the name jackrabbit.

  121. Then why is O’Hare Airport not called Jackrabbit Airport?

  122. It was originally O’Hyrax Field, but the name was changed under pressure from a powerful Chicago Democrat — the kinship between hyrax and elephant, you know.
    (However, this boss did continue to surround himself with seacow-phants.)

  123. Doesn’t anyone say “mad as a March hare”
    No, madness is not a distinguishing feature here.
    there is a reggae club in Chicago called the Wild Hare
    Oh, we know what the word is, sort of, after all there is “The Tortoise and the Hare.” (Tortoise is another old word no one uses, although some biologist will probably come by claiming they are different from turtles.) That reggae club is very impish to think they can misspell “hair” like that and no none will notice they just said something naughty.
    hares and rabbits…still have to be distinguished
    Why? Maybe it’s more important if you’re going to eat them, which we wouldn’t do any more than we would eat a squirrel. We don’t distinguish gray squirrels from the vicious black squirrels over in Michigan. Why would it matter if a rabbit is a cottontail or a jackrabbit, one of those plain brown things that turns white in the winter, or one of the fancier breeds they always show at the state fairs? They will all nibble your garden away just the same. We do, however, distinguish the jackalope.
    the pun in “Lapinot”
    Google translate tells me lapin is French for rabbit. Someone upthread said lapinot is the diminutive form, but “la pine” (la pinot?) doesn’t ring any bells with the search engines.

  124. I’d never heard of a “hare” except in jokes and fables, until I went East and mixed with Easterners and other fancy-pants Furriners. We call them jackrabbits in Oregon. Bigger. Smarter. Longer legs. They’ll fight if you corner them.

  125. Nijma: la pine
    Vulg. Membre viril. It’s your petit robert. Well, not yours really, but you know what I mean.

  126. can get a lot of things in the Pioneer Valley, but I suspect a good mole isn’t one of them.
    What about Mi Tierra in Hadley? Never been myself, but my friends seem to like it.

  127. read: In their jokes, all societies are misogynistic, patriarchal, uncultured, and backward, without exception that I know of. Jokes are always about the unacceptable.
    On the sound of gunfire, maybe “pow pow” captures it better in English than “bang bang”.
    Hat: when you referred to mole, I didn’t think of the sauce or the trousers, but the animal as an article of food….
    What we think of today as a Yiddish accent never was common in Germany, because it’s specifically an Eastern Yiddish accent. By the beginning of the 20th century, Jews in German-speaking lands had pretty much given up their Western Yiddish in favor of German — indeed, rather more standard German than the surrounding population, who generally spoke the standard, if at all, with a local accent.
    (Western Yiddish hung on until 1945 or so in other places, and there apparently are relic populations still. Ethnologue claims 5000 L1 speakers in Germany, 400 elsewhere, and 11 million L1 and L2 speakers worldwide, which seems beyond preposterous — who learns Western Yiddish today as an L2, and far vos? There are barely two million Eastern Yiddish L1+L2 speakers, if that. Maybe that 11 million figure is for both languages as of 1939?)

  128. scarabaeus says:

    “…but I have still never heard the word “hare” in ordinary conversation here… ”
    In the UK, there be many a hare street [Google hare street], now to be used for haring around in stolen cars.
    I still eat Rarebit, in Wales of course, and then Rabbit, the latter still to be found in Markets in Spain and Chile.

  129. What we think of today as a Yiddish accent never was common in Germany, because it’s specifically an Eastern Yiddish accent. By the beginning of the 20th century, Jews in German-speaking lands had pretty much given up their Western Yiddish in favor of German — indeed, rather more standard German than the surrounding population, who generally spoke the standard, if at all, with a local accent.
    John, as I understand the German WiPe article on Jiddisch, it was for precisely the reasons you give that in Germany as well, in the early half of the 20th century,
    Jiddisch usually referred to Ostjiddisch. In other words (I’m guessing) Western Yiddish sounded more like a German dialect, whereas the strange stuff from the East was called Jargon.

    Jiddisch ist ein verhältnismäßig neues Kunstwort und hat im Deutschen seit den 1920er Jahren die älteren Bezeichnungen „Judendeutsch“, „Jüdisch-Deutsch“ und „Jargon“ (für Ostjiddisch) verdrängt, die in der älteren Literatur oft abwertend für die deutsch basierten Sprachen der Juden in Mittel- und Osteuropa gebraucht wurden.

    Jiddisch is a fairly recent technical term. Starting in the 1920s, it gradually displaced the older terms “Jew-German”, “Jewish-German” and “jargon” (for eastern Yiddish) that had been used in the older literature, often in a derogatory sense, for the German-based languages of the Jews in Middle and Eastern Europe.

    The paragraph in the article that begins as follows explains how the separate development lines started:

    Bedingt durch die Judenverfolgungen im 13. Jahrhundert und besonders nach der großen Pest von 1348 kam es zur massenhaften Migration von Juden aus dem deutschen Sprachgebiet nach Osteuropa, besonders nach Polen und Litauen, und in der Folge zu einer sprachlich getrennten Entwicklung …

    As a result of the persections of the Jews in the 13th century, in in great measure due to the Great Plague of 1348, mass migrations of Jews from German-speaking areas into Eastern Europe had taken place, especially to Poland and Lithuania. As a consequence, the spoken language in the East began to develop independently …

    Of the “around 100-200″ films in Yiddish that were made from the 1920s in Europe up till the 1950s in America, only one (!) was made in Germany.

  130. What about Mi Tierra in Hadley?
    Thanks much for the recommendation; if I get the chance, I’ll check it out.

  131. Trond Engen says:

    Trond, I have nominated you for The Great Panjandrum Medal of Distinction In Learned Punning.
    He had them astonished by punning.
    They had him punished by stoning.

  132. A few years ago I caught part of a 30s Yiddish film on German late-night TV. I could understand it pretty well, but I don’t know how much of that understanding was due to its having been in Western Yiddish, or Eastern Yiddish with at least the cuffs ironed for a German audience (as with some Bavarian films intended for national broadcasting here).
    What I do remember is a certain melodramatic lilt in the speech, that reminded me of Jewish-momma intonation in films in the States. Of course, it could be that the melodramatic lilt in the Yiddish film was due to the fact that it was a comedy.
    Somewhere this year, I think in a Hat thread, I found a link to a web site with American radio recordings from the 40s-50s of an Uncle Advisor giving advice to people who had written in (he was well-known in Jewish communities at the time, but I’ve forgotten his name). I had difficulties understanding him.

  133. Trond Engen says:

    Were the varieties of spoken Jiddish throughout Eastern Europe close to the local diasporalects of non-Jewish Germans? Or did they develop distinctly different features other than separate registers?

  134. Mertseger says:

    On the sound of gunfire, maybe “pow pow” captures it better in English than “bang bang”.
    In English l33t-speak (spefically, World of Warcraft chat lingo) it (or it least the FPS version of gunfire) has become “pewpew” as in “Less QQ, more pewpew”.

  135. The American cottontail rabbit, however, does not live in colonies or warrens and does not dig underground holes.
    The American jackrabbit is a hare, biologically.
    Hares generally are larger, if I recall correctly, their young are born with eyes open, where as the young of rabbits keep eyes closed for first days after birth.

  136. David Marjanović says:

    I’ve never seen the term “paraclade” and can’t figure out what it might mean.

    I just found out the term was coined this year in a paper that is best immediately forgotten again.

    Or indeed Vienna: on its website, the Hotel Sacher has a recipe for Kaninchenrückenfilet mit Gemüseauflauf.

    In that kind of hotel you can find anything – in the general population, rabbits are eaten at most as often as horses. Not comparable with France, where skinned and gutted rabbits lie around in butchers’ windows…
    Speaking of horses… there’s a campaign to declare them inedible in France.

    You’re probably right, DM. I was relying (often a bad idea) on a statement from WiPe: [...]

    Ouch. That’s something I’ll have to wipe out soon. Not even the timeline fits – elephants and sea cows already existed back then!

    pengwyn “(lit.) whitehead”.

    Is there a connection to Latin pinguis “fat”?
    In any case, the great auk is Pinguinus impennis in Scientific. The penguins are Spheniscus.

    (However, this boss did continue to surround himself with seacow-phants.)

    Too cool. From now on I’ll use “tethythere” as an insult. :-D

    (Tortoise is another old word no one uses, although some biologist will probably come by claiming they are different from turtles.)

    Worse yet! Some distinguish turtles, tortoises, and terrapins! Many even.
    In that case, the tortoises are the terrestrial ones, or some of them anyway. Remember how the “turtle” that carries the elephants that carry the Discworld is a sea turtle.

    It’s your petit robert.

    ROTFL!
    I asked why the word is feminine, which seems like a specially crafted contradiction in terms. (La barbe is bad enough, but this really takes the cake.) Answer: Parce que c’est ta meilleure amie ! C’est ta copine en temps de solitude !

    He had them astonished by punning.
    They had him punished by stoning.

    That’s called Schüttelreim in German, or rather Rüttelschleim
    (“Shaken rhyme” and “shaken slime” basically.)

    Were the varieties of spoken Jiddish throughout Eastern Europe close to the local diasporalects of non-Jewish Germans?

    Nope. All Yiddish comes from southwestern Germany, and it still shows.

    Less QQ, more pewpew”

    Is this a connotation?

  137. According to God, the turtle is a bird, and you people are talking crazy.

  138. marie-lucie says:

    pengwyn “(lit.) whitehead”.
    This is a Welsh word (pen ‘head’, gwyn ‘white’).
    Is there a connection to Latin pinguis “fat”?
    No.

  139. The master was an old Turtle–we used to call him Tortoise–’
    `Why did you call him Tortoise, if he wasn’t one?’ Alice asked.
    `We called him Tortoise because he taught us,”

  140. astonished by punning…punished by stoning
    Would you prefer to wait in the sitting room or sit in the waiting room?
    the “turtle” that carries the elephants that carry the Discworld is a sea turtle.
    It’s turtles all the way down, and rabbits all the way across. Since Ø knows about jackrabbits, maybe he agrees about turtles too, unless the customary warm climate in that region has spawned a proliferation of wildlife and 97 words for turtles.
    petit robert
    Ah, thank you G-Stu. The only thing left to be explained is why the pun in “Lapinot” …makes “McConey” the best English translation. And an Irish ending and not a French one? Oh, maybe the Coney Island hot dogs…

  141. Grumbly, I think your second theory is more likely; I doubt that anyone would bother to make films in Western Yiddish. Yiddish is easy for germanophones to read (in the Latin script, of course), especially if they are a little bit flexible.
    Western Yiddish speakers could easily assimilate, whereas Eastern Yiddish speakers were living in Slavic lands, and although bilingualism (or trilingualism if you count Hebrew: boys were taught it starting at age 3, well within the window for L1 acquisition) was common, still nobody could mistake Eastern Jews for Slavs on vocabulary grounds alone (morphosyntax does show some degree of assimilation).
    Trond: No, Eastern Yiddish dialects at least have nothing to do with German diaspora dialects or accents. Yiddish apparently started as a koine of Middle High German, merging features from many regional German dialects before evolving new and distinct dialect features of its own as its speakers spread out across Eastern Europe.

  142. I meant to say “easy to read, not quite so easy to understand, and as for speaking or writing them, very difficult indeed”.

  143. Would you rather park in the driveway, or drive on the parkway?

  144. Freg nisht.

  145. According to God, the turtle is a bird, and you people are talking crazy.
    In the OED the first turtle noun denotes the bird (a.k.a. turtle dove).
    The second turtle noun (different root) denotes the reptile (a.k.a. tortoise, more or less).
    Those who don’t reserve “turtle” for the sea-going varieties sometimes say “sea turtle” for these.
    Funny thing: “sea-turtle” also means guillemot, a kind or kin of the auk. (This is back to the first turtle noun now, sense 1b.)

  146. lapinot = obscene(ly great) pun + suffix
    mcconey = obscene(ly great) pun (see early comments) + prefix

  147. That’s called Schüttelreim in German
    That’s called Spoonerism in English.

  148. Crown, it took me quite a while to figure out the following OED example of a spoonerism. To that end, I actually had to search for something in the internet. Start timing, and tell me how long it takes you.
    I am not going to put on any weight until I’m fifty, when I shall allow myself to become matronly, ready to be a follower of ‘soda and gobbly matrons’, as enjoined by the marriage service. (A good Spoonerism that, created quite involuntarily by my mother some years ago.)

  149. I give up. What is the original?

  150. Sober and godly matrons.
    The only clue I had – that I had originally ignored – was “enjoined by the marriage service”. I listened in my mind’s ear to the sound of “soda” in conjunction with “marriage service”, and heard “sober”. Then I searched
    “marriage service”+sober+matron.
    You’d think they would explain that one. It’s as obscure as the examples in the “calembour” entry of the French WiPe. Look at the homophonic calembours. If you get more than two of them, you win a million dollars. How will I ever be able to get a firm grasp on that bloody language?!

  151. “Look at the homophonic calembours. If you get more than two of them, you win a million dollars.”
    I do get more than two of them. Should I send you my account number? Of course, the trick is to live in a French-speakíng country.

  152. Yeah, bruessel, but for that reason you are not eligible, unfortunately. Read the fine print. The contest is only for irascible furriners. Also, it’s not me that’s awarding the prize, but the French Republic.

  153. I didn’t have a second timer, but about 90 seconds. I’m not sure that’s the example I’d choose for a dictionary. I have a German ex-partner (in the architecture sense) who is a compulsive Spoonerist in both English and tysk.

  154. The world over, nothing is more foreign than a Belgian.

  155. marie-lucie says:

    Calembours: I got most of them, but some of them are pretty lame!
    “sober and godly matrons”: there seem to be several versions of the marriage service. The Book of Common Prayer says “holy and godly matrons” (in a version that links to a Jane Austen website, in order to show what JA would have known).
    “Matrons”: in French the word matrone refers to a woman who is at least middle-aged and also quite “bulky” (I think that the English “matronly” refers to the same type of person). In the context of Roman history it also refers to middle-aged and older married women of a certain class. But I was flabbergasted when I first read the expression “young matron” in an American publication, meaning “young married woman”. I don’t think that phrase is still used, but I was also surprised at the “matron of honor” in a wedding party, if the woman in question is married, unlike a “maid of honor” or bridesmaid. In French weddings I have only run into une demoiselle d’honneur – I don’t think a married woman, no matter how young, would be cast in this role, while une dame d’honneur would attend the queen or other highly-placed lady in a royal or at least noble court. Nowadays for French weddings it is more common to have just a couple of children (the boy carrying the ring) as attendants, rather than a whole slew of bridesmaids.

  156. “Holy and godly matrons” / “sober and godly matrons”: most likely the Presbyterian matrons were sober and the Episcopalian matrons were infused with spirits and thus holy.
    The young son of a friend was to be the ring-bear(er) in a wedding and was looking forward to wearing the bear costume.

  157. David Marjanović says:

    This is a Welsh word (pen ‘head’, gwyn ‘white’).

    Very similar in Breton (gwen), which might be a bit more relevant geographically.

    That’s called Spoonerism in English.

    That’s not the same. I’m talking about deliberately arranged rhyming poems. A spoonerism is for example the famous party convention speech by Edmund Stoiber, former strongman of Bavaria, that ended in “IN DIE *GLUDERNDE *LOT – IN DIE *GLUDERNDE GLUT – IN DIE LODERNDE GLUT, MEINE DAMEN UND HERREN!!!”.
    (Yes, he was shouting. The video is online somewhere, very impressive. And semantically, lodernde Glut is still nonsense, because lodern implies tall flames, while Glut is “embers”…)
    Auf dem Flachdach ist das Dach flach.
    Es klapperten zwei Klapperschlangen,
    bis ihre Klappern schlapper klangen.

    Die Boxer aus der Meisterklasse,
    die hauen sich zu Kleistermasse.
    Und aus dem ganzen Massenkleister
    erhebt sich stolz – der Klassenmeister!

    (Say that 10 times fast.)

  158. Mertseger says:

    Less QQ, more pewpew
    Is this [a link to the "Just Shoot Him" TV-trope] a connotation?

    Not exactly: the phrase means to stop whining (tears represented by the emoticon “QQ”) and to get back to playing the game. Here, of course, the purely visual “QQ” is the basis for a rhyme with the onomatopoetic “pewpew”.

  159. J. W. Brewer says:

    Rather unhelpful of the OED to use for illustrative purposes a spoonerism that only works for the non-rhotic. And afaik there’s no edition of the wedding service that says “sober and godly” as such: this is someone’s misremembering or paraphrase of the prayer that the bride will “. . . in all quietness, sobriety, and peace be a follower of holy and godly matrons.”

  160. The Anglican wedding service contains the text “holy and sober matrons”. As I understand the following contribution at the anglicanexfide site to be saying, the expression is due to Cranmer, who translated the 1549 Sarum Missal.

    I have a parallel text of the BCP and Sarum marriage rites. BCP pretty much follows Sarum. In Sarum the rite is conducted in the porch up to the Psalm, during which they go into the Church up to the altar step. The prayer you are asking about begins as a pretty direct translation of the Sarum prayer, but from ‘Look mercifully’ / ‘respice’ onwards Cranmer is a bit freer, leaving chunks of the Latin untranslated and embellishing the bits he does translate. But as so often with Cranmer I think the effect is quite good. Furthermore, ‘and be a follower of holy and godly matrons’ is actually much better than the Sarum original (imitatrixque sanctarum permaneat feminarum). Cranmer adds quality when he translates.

    The additional notion of sobriety turns up in the vicinity of “holy and godly matrons” in a text by Wesley on marriage:

    … that this Woman may be loving and amiable, faithful and obedient to her Husband, and in all quietness, sobriety, and peace, be a follower of holy and godly matrons.

    At the beginning of the 20th century, “sober and godly matrons” appears in the novel Miss Fallowfield’s Fortune, by Ellen Thorneycroft Fowler (The Hon. Mrs. Alfred Felkin), 1908, p. 167.

    For the first few weeks after Miss Fallowfield’s wed-
    ding, life at Dinglewood went on in a pleasing and
    peaceful fashion, enlivened by accounts of how the
    travellers fared ; for after Claude and Dagmar had duly
    devoured the epistles from foreign parts, those docu-
    ments were read aloud at the weekly sewing-parties,
    in order that the sober and godly matrons of the parish
    might have their minds enlarged by their vicar’s ex-
    periences.

  161. Correction: the “sobriety” bit doesn’t originate with Wesley, but from the Sarum Missal itself:

    Sit in ea iugum dilectionis et
    pacis. fidelis et casta nubat in
    christo. imitatrixque sanctarum
    permaneat feminarum.

    The text at my “Wesley on marriage” link was in the Appendix of a book on Wesley. It seemed to be by Wesley, but I couldn’t tell for sure. Maybe Wesley made his own version of the missal?

  162. J. W. Brewer says:

    GrStu: The Rev’d Mr. Wesley was just quoting the service from the Book of Common Prayer word for word. I would assume over the course of his ministry he had probably married dozens if not hundreds of couples and may have known the priest’s part of the service by heart. I don’t have time right now to check if the 1662 edition he would have used was word for word identical to Cranmer’s first English version of 1549, but if not I expect they were close.

  163. Well, a study of the original drunken and godly matrons is in order. When was the transition?

  164. Text of the Book of Common Prayer (1662). Texts of various Books of Common Prayer from the Anglican Communion. Some remarks about John Wesley’s languages at my URL.

  165. J. W. Brewer says:

    The language about sobriety & matrons seems to have been the same (except for orthographic changes) back to the first English-language version in 1549, but the prayer of which it forms a part was better in the earlier (1549, 1552, & 1559) versions, before the back-to-Genesis shout-outs to Rachel, Rebecca & Sarah as role models for the bride were edited out.

  166. J.W.: can you point me to some lowdown on the subject of “back-to-Genesis shout-outs”? I had already wondered why the “sentence about Rachel, Rebecca & Sarah … was cut in 1662″, as the anglicanexfide blogger had written.

  167. Partial (searchable)1871 text of the Book of Common Prayer (with Anglo-Catholic annotation) in parallel Latin and English. Full text of the same book here, but not sure how to search it, with fidelis et casta which appears to be translated as “quietness, sobriety, and peace” on p.458.
    Rachel, Rebbecca and Sara are duly mentioned in the Latin…

  168. J. W. Brewer says:

    Stu, I couldn’t tell whether or not you’d actually seen the earlier text with the “shout-outs” in context. In case not, I’ve cut and pasted the 1559 version with lovely unreformed spelling (easily accessible from one of the websites linked by Nijma) below. In terms of *why* the Jewish ladies’ names were cut out in the 1662 revision, I haven’t a clue. What I would think of as a standard reference work on the finer points of the evolution of the BCP texts (“Liturgy & Worship” ed. Lowther Clarke et al., various editions since 1932) is unfortunately available on google books only in a very limited “snippet” view and my hard copy and I are not currently in the same physical location.
    “Loke mercifully upon these thy servauntes, that both this man may love his wife, accordyng to thy worde (as Christe did love his spouse the Churche, who gave himselfe for it, lovyng and cherishing it, even as his owne fleshe). And also that this woman may be lovyng and amiable to her housband as Rachel, wise as Rebecca, faithfull and obedient as Sara, and in all quietnes, sobrietie, and peace, be a folower of holy and Godly matrones, O Lorde blesse them bothe, and graunt them to enherite thy everlastyng kyngdome: throughe Jesus Christe our Lorde. Amen.”

  169. ignoramus says:

    No wonder some men would like more wives, 4 in total, wife number one, then Rachel then Rebecca and of course Sara.

  170. For an description of changes between the 1559 version and the 1662 revision, there is “an historical introduction” beginning on page 1 of the 1871 annotated Book of Common Prayer that I linked to earlier. Interesting dates include 1553-59 when Mary I restored Roman Catholic worship and services were performed in Latin, and 1640-1653 when Puritans outlawed the common prayer book completely. The 1559 version (that J. W. Brewer quotes above) appears to be an attempt at national reconciliation and was quietly accepted by “Romanists and papists”.
    After the Puritans lost power, the country had been without an approved prayer book for some 15 years, multiple versions existed, and the need to reconcile the various versions was recognized. The 1662 version was done by, guess what, committee. (Description begins on p 28.) Specific alterations in the matrimony section are listed on p. 39.

  171. J.W. and Nijma, thanks for the infos and links!

  172. Not at all, but go easy with John Henry Blunt’s Annotated Book Of Common Prayer that I linked to. It probably couldn’t be considered to be a “standard reference work”. Not that there is anything ever written that doesn’t have some bias, but the commentary in this one might be more on the Catholic side and not acceptable to a Reformation Anglican.

  173. m-l, technically you are not a matron unless you are not merely married but also have a child, though for matron-of-honor purposes this distinction is ignored.
    In any case, “soda and gobbly” is not properly a spoonerism. Spoonerisms are initial swaps, like “You have deliberately tasted two worms and may leave Oxford by the town drain” (down train ‘a train leaving Oxford’). Final swaps, of course, are forkerisms, and a medial swap like “soda and gobbly” is a kniferism.
    (Chinese wordplay doesn’t seem to involve either spoonerisms or forkerisms. I wonder why not.)

  174. (down train ‘a train leaving Oxford’)
    I’d say a down train is one to London and an up train is one coming back (to wherever you started).

  175. (down train ‘a train leaving Oxford’)
    I’d say a down train is one to London and an up train is one coming back (to wherever you started).

  176. London is the bottom? Or Oxford is the top?
    Isn’t it called being “sent down” when they expel you from Oxford? Or Cambridge? Or maybe either.

  177. Trond Engen says:

    “Up to mighty London came an Irishman one day”

  178. Nothing so colorful here, Illinois is horizontal. To Chicago is inbound, from Chicago is outbound. In Wobegon however, if you live in town and want to go shopping, you go down town; if you live on the farm and have a less prestigious dialect, you go up town.

  179. Isn’t it called being “sent down” when they expel you from Oxford? Or Cambridge?
    I wonder if phrases like this are still in use. It sounds Woosterish to me. In those days, you “went up ” to university /Oxbridge when you entered it.
    “Up to mighty London”
    My mother & grandmother talked about “going up to town”, meaning London.
    I still maintain that the down line is the train line towards London (from anywhere in southern England) and the up line goes in the opposite direction.

  180. traditions so beloved of English public schools
    I heard in a fragment of an interview today that British “public schools” were actually private schools.

  181. Don’t believe it, Nij. They’re open to everyone who can pay.

  182. Don’t believe it, Nij. They’re open to everyone who can pay.

  183. (Sort of like the US health system).

  184. (Sort of like the US health system).

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