Best wishes to all for a good 2006 (surely it has to improve on 2005); here are a couple of goodies I’d like to share:

1) For the Russophones, О космополитической сущности зонненблюменфоллькорнброта: Gusi-Lebedev takes the nonce word zonnenblyumenfoll’kornbrot, used by Pushkin in a charming little ditty he wrote for Anna Kern’s album in 1823 (Мне изюм нейдет на ум, Цукерброт не лезет в рот, Шоколат, рахатлукум, Зонненблюменфоллькорнброт, Пастила не хороша Без тебя, моя душа: basically, ‘nothing tastes good to me without you, my dear, not even chocolate, Turkish delight, or Sonnenblumenvollkornbrot,’ the last-named being a German word for coarse whole wheat bread with sunflower seeds), and writes a learned critical essay treating it as an ancient, if latterly forgotten, element of the Russian vocabulary, rejecting Stalin’s efforts to present it as a Bolshevik innovation and tracing it through history, from ancient Babylon through Omar Khayyam and medieval German student songs to the great Russian poets of the 19th and 20th centuries. Very funny stuff. (Thanks, Tatyana!)

2) For the rest of you, I bring the happy news that Jordan MacVay has gotten Macvaysia its own domain and kicked off the new year with a post on the Gaelic word for ‘curry’ and other matters solved by the new Gaelic Orthographic Conventions 2005; he ends: “Now I know how to say I ate curry in Gaelic: Dh’ith mi coiridh. I haven’t yet had any opportunities (nor reasons) to write about lesbians or giraffes in Gaelic, but surely there’s a first time for everything. You just never know.”


  1. aldiboronti says

    Happy New Year, lh.
    May your blog continue to go from strength to strength. You make it all look so easy. (Somewhere, on the far shores of the internet, where nothing ever truly dies, lies the withered husk of a blog I once started, testifying silently but eloquently to the fact that easy it ain’t.)

  2. Curse you, aldi! Don’t tantalize me with the thought of the Blog That Might Have Been! If anyone should be blogging, it’s thee—and I say that quite unselfishly, since as it is I steal plenty of links from you that could be going into your own blog if you had one. If you ever decide to give it a try, I’ll be glad to provide encouragement, advice, and idiotic suggestions.

  3. Looks like the Gaelic Orthographic Conventions have already become a political football: “Expert slams plan to ‘invent’ Gaelic words.” Nowhere in the article does it say that the Conventions are merely dealing with the orthographic rendering of loanwords, rather than the “invention” of new words.

  4. Unrelated to the post at hand, but I was tryingt o find a POO poem and came upon your site.I have since found the poem, my favorite, but I often misplace it and it never “googles’.
    I thought you would appreciiate it, I always think of it when I remember folks that have passed away.
    “Again the lamps do glimmer,
    When company’s out the door…
    There’s yet a place
    For those who once remained,
    And aren’t with us, anymore.
    A moment’s stir in ashes,
    in brick-hearth warmth we dwell.
    On the swaying limbs
    we stumbles.
    But it can’t be said we fell.”

  5. Thanks for that; I’m glad to have it on my site.

  6. Not to meddle, but an occasional guest-post by aldi would be welcomed by at least one member of the LH audience.

  7. The throw-away quip in the The Herald article for Siog (‘Sikh’) alludes to minimal Indian immigration to the Western Isles. No doubt true. But surely the situation is completely different in the urban centers. Isn’t there some bilingual education in Punjabi?
    We aren’t allowed access to hard numbers from the 2001 census. SCROL won’t divulge anything about language, fearing that it might be “disclosive”. I further suspect that it would be easy fodder for various people with various preset agendas. The 2011 Census will apparently mention Urdu explicitly as well as English, Scots, and Gaelic. But there still seems to be some dancing around the issue of what is your first language / only language ( / the language you wish Scotland spoke).

  8. Don Fisk says

    I saw this years ago in the comic strip “Pogo”, in the Wichita, KS newspaper. I have since lost the clipping, but luckily had memorized it.
    For a long time I didn’t know how to describe what it meant, but now know that to me it is about life; loss, triumph, tragedy and defeat.

    “Again the lamps do glimmer,
    When company’s out the door.
    There’s yet a place for those who once remained,
    But aren’t with us anymore.
    A moment’s stir in ashes,
    In brick-hearth warmth we dwell.
    On swaying limbs we stumbled,
    But it can’t be said we fell.”
    -Walt Kelly

  9. John Cowan says

    SCROL won’t divulge anything about language, fearing that it might be “disclosive”

    That which discloses things is, as a rule, disclosive.

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