Jeremy/AJP, RIP.

I had thought of waiting for an obituary to link to, but several people have already sent me e-mails about it today, and I can’t bring myself to post filler while this is all I can think about, so I’ll just go ahead and share the bare news: Jeremy Hawker, known in these parts as AJP Crown, died suddenly on Monday. I don’t know any details yet, but he’d had heart trouble for a long time. He was a longstanding and much-loved part of this community, and it’s a heavy blow; my deepest condolences go out to his wife Dyveke and daughter Alma, as I’m sure yours do as well. He was a wonderfully good-hearted and generous person, and I can’t believe there won’t be any more comments or e-mails from him. I’ll add more details when they’re available. Hvil i fred, old friend.

Addendum. I just had a good talk with Dyveke, and she told me (and said I could write about it here) that Jeremy died Monday morning in front of his computer (apparently instantaneously, of a massive heart attack), in the midst of composing a comment at LH (for the thread about Jesus’ language). She said this site meant a huge amount to him; his diabetes kept him from getting around much, and it was a perfect way for him to interact with people who said interesting things and appreciated him. We regretted that we’d never gotten to meet, and she mentioned the Hatters who had visited them in Norway — Trond and marie-lucie and Siganus, I think. As she said, they got to know Jeremy’s voice as well. Lucky them.

Update. Dyveke sent me an image of the notice she placed in the newspaper Aftenposten, which reads:

Jeremy Nicholas Hawker
Died suddenly 5.10.2020
Born 8.6.1953

Without you all streets would be one way — the other way
Adrian Henri (1967)
Without you

Ann E. Hawker – mother
Alma M. S. Hawker – daughter
Dyveke Sanne – wife
Friends and family

A planting ceremony will take place in our garden on Jeremy’s birthday.

If you send her (at the name of a plant, wild or tame, they can plant it in their garden in your name that day.


  1. Whoa. This is really sad. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.

    AJP Crown said: I hadn’t realised that Sarah Palin grew up in Tunbridge Wells.

  2. I’m very sorry to hear this.

  3. Počivaj u miru.

  4. David Marjanović says


  5. Jen in Edinburgh says

    Oh no. I’ll miss him badly here, but you’ll miss him far worse.

  6. *Sigh*…

    2020 just got a lot worse.

    May he rest in peace. My condolences to his family and friends.

  7. Very sad news. I felt as if I knew him and even his family a little from his presence here. He will be missed.

  8. Trond Engen says

    May he walk with his beloved animals.

    I met Crown in real life only once, a memorable afternoon and evening when marie-lucie was in Oslo for a conference — first sightseeing Oslo’s new opera house and then having dinner in his garden with Dyveke and Alma and their goats and dogs. I had a standing invitation to come back with my family, but life always got in the way, and now it’s too late. Never let life get in the way of life.

  9. Giacomo Ponzetto says

    Sad news. Even as a marginal Hatter I’ll miss him here, which suggests what a loss this must be for those close to him. My condolences.

  10. Awful. Земля пухом.

  11. Just one year older than me, always so full of life and wit…


  12. David Eddyshaw says

    Very sad news.

  13. It’s unthinkable. One of the people here I most wanted to meet in real life. I’m so sorry.

  14. He’s no longer among us, and it’s difficult to stomach that. He used to joke about how he’d like his mortal remains to be disposed of. See you, Artur.

  15. Andrej Bjelaković says


  16. John Cowan says

    His last words: “The International House of Pancakes”.

    a marginal Hatter

    There are some Hattics who have a lot to say, some who say only a few things, but nobody who comes up with “Quemcumque Praeses Trump nominaverit inquisitionem illam hereditate accipiet” has any excuse for feeling marginal.

  17. Hat, if there’s anything more you’d like to pass this way about Jeremy, from his family or anyone else, please do. I found his Instagram account, and his pictures are wonderful, as I would imagine them to be.

  18. Sad news indeed! Rest in peace, and my condolences to his relatives.

  19. Athel Cornish-Bowden says

    What awful news. What more can one say? Whatever the topic I always looked forward to and appreciated his posts.

  20. Stu Clayton says

    Spirited away.

  21. Just a couple of days ago I’d watched and enjoyed watching Miyazaki’s animation The Wind Rises, which he recommended a few weeks back on a thread I can’t find now. It dawned on me that the Hans Castorp figure is also a portrait of an architect, Bruno Taut, whom he would have known all about, and thought yes, he’d have liked that. Too late to ask.

  22. Stu Clayton says
  23. That is sad news. I will miss his comments.

  24. Thanks Stu, that’s it.

  25. @Hat:

    Have you ever come across the word отруб?

    A relative passed away on October 6, and they used to live in one, specifically, the one mentioned here:

    Иногда мама с сестрой шли домой через Абдулинские выселки (хутор «Отруб»), где также была переправа.

  26. Yes, I have, but I didn’t realize they were still a thing. (From your link: “С появлением «Декрета о земле» отрубы перестали существовать.”)

  27. Damn! The worst year ever.

  28. How sad. I wish I’d had the chance to meet him in person, but then his personality shone through his comments so strongly that I almost feel as if I had. His wide-ranging knowledge and acerbic wit will be missed.

  29. J.W. Brewer says

    Very sorry to learn of this grievous news. I lit a candle for him (and I guess for the rest of us as well) this morning. Вечная память.

  30. That comes as a shock. My condolences to those of you who knew him so well through languagehat and otherwise.

  31. Иногда мама с сестрой

    Just noticed a few lines above:

    Тынчерова Алия Ганиевна

    Mother’s stepsister was called exactly that, but this is not her. Weird!

  32. Very sorry to hear this. My condolences to Dyveke and everyone else who knew him.

    From another marginal Hatter.

  33. No luck for me trying to post Cyrillic but this is the poem I’d like to quote.

  34. PlasticPaddy says

    When dear companions leave the world before
    Our journey finishes we should prefer
    Not to be sad because they are no more,
    But to be glad because they were.
    -best I could do with the Zhukovski poem

  35. I’m so sorry to hear this! Many condolences to his family and friends.

  36. Damn, another dagger in the blogroll.

  37. Giacomo Ponzetto says

    @John Cowan:

    nobody who comes up with “Quemcumque Praeses Trump nominaverit inquisitionem illam hereditate accipiet” has any excuse for feeling marginal.

    You’re too kind, but thanks! I’m genuinely surprised that my Latin is memorable, but my teachers will be proud and I’m inordinately pleased to have carved my niche in the Hattic community.

  38. Here’s another translation of the Zhukovsky:

    About dear companions, who have made our world
    Come more alive by their companionship,
    Do not say with longing, “They are no more,”
    But rather say with gratitude, “They have been.”

  39. Athel Cornish-Bowden says

    It’s a great poem. I was struck by appearance of the word спутниках — a reminder of why the original Sputnik was called that.

  40. David Marjanović says

    I just read the update and am very curious indeed… what were his last words?

  41. Whenever I saw the phrase “AJP Crown says:” I always knew I was going to be in for a treat. Though I did not know him in person, I am sad to hear he is gone and will miss reading his comments.

  42. what were his last words?

    Alas, the comment box was empty — he had been researching material for it but hadn’t actually started the comment.

  43. .

  44. he had been researching material for it

    Now that’s why AJP’s comments were always so much better than mine.

    I think he was a few years older than me, but we both grew up in England in the same era and, from what I can tell, left about the same time too. Whenever he commented on the old country in those days, I sensed a mix of nostalgia and exasperation that resonated strongly with me.

  45. Crawdad Tom says

    Learned much from, and enjoyed, his comments. My condolences.

  46. John Emerson says

    This is terrible. I lost touch with him when he left Facebook, alas.

  47. Come back from Facebook! We miss you!

  48. David Marjanović says


    I mean, we had to replace all mentions of Dravidian with Scandi-Congo…!

  49. I’ve added Dyveke’s e-mail address to the Update at her request; she says:

    Alma and I will find a way to get back to everyone. This also goes for friends in America and family and friends in England and Australia. It will take some time and consideration, and that’s exactly what we want to give – to Jeremy and to all of you that mattered to him and that he mattered to.

  50. I saw this just now and was shocked like everyone else. Condolences to his family – and to all dear friends here, at one of his favourite places. (Mine too, for a long time.)

  51. That’s sad. I always enjoyed his comments.

  52. J.W. Brewer says

    Here’s a link to the entire poem (not one I’d been familiar with) that has one line quoted in the Aftenposten notice:

    Take that, Zhukovsky!

  53. You’re always welcome here, Noetica.

  54. Yes indeed. You and Emerson/Zizka both.

  55. Trond Engen says

    Thanks for the updates. I got an e-mail reply from Dyveke as well the other day, but I have been too busy for a few days to notice until right now.

    They plan a ceremony on his birthday in May, corona allowing, and invite his friends to have flowers planted in his memory. That’s a great idea (but frightening for us who can’t remember a birthday if not reminded). I’ll be happy to help if anyone wants me to be their local agent or feet on the ground. I know next to nothing of flowers, though, except maybe distinguishing colours, but my wife is a decent gardener.

  56. I am sorry to read that. My condolences also. I loved the insight and generosity of his comments.

  57. David Eddyshaw says

    generosity of his comments

    Yes, indeed. He was (happily) by no means alone among Hatters in this, but he was particularly notable for it.

  58. Anyone who feels like it should definitely drop Dyveke a line; she loves hearing how much Jeremy meant to people.

  59. Siganus Sutor has an eloquent memorial post at Martian Spoken Here; even if you don’t read French, you can enjoy the wonderful photograph of Jeremy in his native habitat.

  60. David Marjanović says

    That’s exactly the facial expression I was imagining all these years.


    That’s palomita, isn’t it?

  61. Oui.

  62. How un-British, pour un Anglais !

    Well, his dad was apparently from Moree.

    (That genealogy site is pretty unreliable. It has my grandfather dying in 1927, two years before my father was born….)

  63. palomita

    When a friend and I stayed in a hotel in Leningrad, there was an Estonian girl staying in a room a little way down the corridor. Her surname was Tuvike, formed exactly like Dyveke, it seems:

    -ke (genitive -kese, partitive -kest)

    A noun suffix that builds diminutives from nouns.
    kivi (stone) → kivike (a small stone)

    tuvi (genitive [please provide], partitive [please provide])

    dove, pigeon (taxonomic family: Columbidae)

  64. I got a scam comment at Unrealistic Dialogue today. That’s not unusual, but when I first saw it, I thought it might actually be related to AJP Crown. However, the mention of “Jeremy” just turned out to be a coincidence.

    We would like to thank you once again for the lovely ideas you offered Jeremy when preparing her post-graduate research plus, most importantly, for providing many of the ideas in one blog post. If we had been aware of your website a year ago, we’d have been kept from the nonessential measures we were choosing.

    Thank you very much. [spam Web site omitted]

  65. It’s nice when spammers are so polite and well-spoken!

  66. We had the boy named Sue, now we have the girl called Jeremy.

  67. Trond Engen says

    David M.:


    That’s palomita, isn’t it?

    He, I never thought of that. I guess the Dutch diminutive -ke is foreign enough that we don’t think of it as such,

    Anyway, the original Dyveke was the daughter of a Dutch merchant in Bergen and the mistress of king Christian II of Denmark. Her mother was highly influential at his court — until suddenly she wasn’t.

  68. Garrigus Carraig says

    I am just now seeing this. A warm and witty fellow, judging solely from his comments here. Left a mark.

  69. Richard Charon says

    I am not a member of this group but I have just been passed a link and find myself here acfter telling a mutual of Jeremy’s pasing today, though I learned of it a while ago now. Jeremy was my oldest true friend. He and I joined St. Marylebone Gramar school in 1964 and although we had different academic interests, we somehow became very good friends. I spent a lot of time with him and his mother at their home in London outside school hours, socilaising /parties during those formative teenage years in London in the 60s as well as doing the cross-Europe “Inter-rail” journey from London to the Greek Islands via the Orient Express route branch to Athens. My younger brother joined us on that 6 week trip; returning via Venice, Nice, the Camargue, Arles and Paris. We kept in touch from time to time as the years went by and eventually we made the trip to Norway where we were looked after wonderfully. Walks across the frozen lake at the end of their plot of land in winter and woodland, hillside hikes another time in the summer ,with my wife and kids in tow. We were distantly-close. So many great memories and shared experiences. It is so nice to see that he created such greta contacts this group and others. This is a tragic loss to his family , not least his elderly mother who brought him up alone in London. I will sorely miss him.

  70. John Cowan says

    I see that his middle initial is “N”. Does anyone know what that stands for?

  71. Stu Clayton says
  72. Trond Engen says

    Me: They plan a ceremony on his birthday in May, corona allowing, and invite his friends to have flowers planted in his memory.

    I’ve meant to add to this post, and I guess this was my final cue.

    Corona didn’t allow in May, but the urn ceremony will take place this Friday, with a few friends and relatives. Dyveke invited me on behalf of, I suppose, all his “imaginary friends”, which feels quite undeserved and also humbling. But what can one do in a year like this? I’m at your service.

    And I’m still twisting my head about the plant business. He had everything in that garden.

  73. Please give Dyveke and Alma my love; I hope they’re doing well. I hope they have lilies in the garden, which was what occurred to me (I always used to bring them to Bonnie when we lived in NYC).

  74. Stu Clayton says

    Trond: for a long time I didn’t want to think about this at all. My mind simply rejected it. So I thought I had missed the planting.

    I’d now like to arrange for something in this connection, but it’s very short notice. Could you perhaps help me set this in train ? How can I get in touch with you ?

    I have nämlich something in mind that I’m pretty sure is not yet in the garden (apart from gnomes, of course).

    Edit: I suppose I could contact Dyveke. It’s not a surprise birthday present, unfortunately. Jesus fucking Christ. But I don’t have her number.

  75. Trond Engen says

    Click on my name and you’ll find my e-mail adress. I’m also on Messenger.

    I’m off to bed now, but I’ll see them tomorrow morning.

  76. Stu Clayton says

    Ok, thanks. I’ll write.

  77. @Trond: Please pass on my appreciation and best wishes. It was always interesting talking with AJP about art.

  78. Siganus Sutor says

    Thinking of a friend today, and missing his company.

  79. Siganus Sutor says

    (A tree is in the process of being planted today, in his memory. Breadfruit — I don’t how he would have liked that.)

  80. Trond Engen says

    It was a hot and sunny summer day. About 20 friends from most periods of life, from when he was a 19-year-old art school student in London to last year’s new neighbours — all of us living in Norway — met at the local churchyard for a short private ceremony, and then we went to the family house for a garden party. Dyveke and Alma had made a huge effort, to much avail, so we ate and drank and laughed and threw Jack’s (the dog’s) toy into the garden for about five hours. After desserts all the guests were asked to tell who they were and how they knew Jeremy/AJP, and I was able to say something about this rare civilzed corner of the Internet and about the strange backwardness of getting to know somebody this way, and about meeting a person who doesn’t fit your image at all, but whose image slowly grows into the person you already knew. I told that there were hatters all over the world missing Jeremy and thinking of Dyveke and Alma. I hadn’t been able to settle on a plant myself, clearly overthinking it, so I enjoyed telling about a newly planted breadfruit tree on a distant island in the Indian Ocean and about an idea being hatched in Cologne.

    [Stu: When I asked you to click on my name for my e-mail adress, I had forgotten that that stopped working years ago,.But we managed. Dyveke got your message but had been to busy to reply.]

  81. Thanks for that report. Sounds like they’re doing as well as could be expected, and it makes me happy to hear about the celebration. I wish I could have been there.

  82. I was just using my huge Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World (13th Edition) and sadly reflected that Jim (jamessal) and Jeremy, who went in on it as a Christmas gift for me a decade ago, are both gone. It’s never going to stop hurting.

  83. Siganus Sutor says

    Oh, jamessal too? Goodness! (He was young though, wasn’t he? I remember a cat rescued in the middle of the road — forgot his name, Muntz? — and his girlfriend who used to cook good things, no? What happened?)

    [Sorry, this is meant to be a blog about language, I know, but…]

  84. Sorry you had to find out about it this way. Yes, he was way too young. Here’s the memorial post:

  85. Siganus Sutor says

    Thank you Hat.

  86. It’s been a year. Some people must feel terribly sad today.

  87. Indeed. Thanks for the reminder.

  88. I just received a few pictures of his grave. On the tombstone a pair of wellington boots are carved. That’s so much like him.

  89. J.W. Brewer says

    Re “some people,” I would just say that grief ebbs and flows and works differently for different people and for some (perhaps “some other”?) people, a formal milestone like a yahrzeit may be less sad than other days because a useful occasion for organizing happy memories and/or because a time other people are likely to check in to see how they’re doing.

  90. Stu Clayton says


    Is that a Yiddish word for anniversary ? In German that’s Jahrestag. Jahreszeit is season (of the year).

    For some reason I was not especially familiar with the word Jahrestag until I read Uwe Johnson’s massive four-part novel Jahrestage, which now I always think of when the word comes up.

  91. Is that a Yiddish word for anniversary ?

    Google is your friend.

  92. J.W. Brewer says

    Stu, I don’t claim to know Yiddish so I think that must mean it’s an English word, albeit by origin a loanword from Yiddish and certainly not current in all varieties/dialects/registers of English.

  93. John Cowan says

    That’s a Germanizing romanization, though: yortzeyt is more like it. (I think the native spelling is יאָרײתּ.)

  94. . יאָרצײַט / יאָהרצײַט

  95. Trond Engen says

    I may tell those who want to know that my wife and I were invited to Dyveke and Alma’s in Asker later this summer. It was a short visit at the very end of our family holiday — arriving in the afternoon after driving from Trondheim that morning and leaving the next morning to drive the last stretch home. It almost didn’t happen because of various trivial complications on both sides, but where there’s will there’s a way. And I’m happy we did. Not only did we enjoy their generous hospitality but my architect wife and the two women in the house had a lot to discuss.

    I was asked again to bring their regards to Hat himself and the whole Hattery, a task I must have forgotten, I’ll pardon myslef for that one. I was just home long enough to sleep and pack for another week.

  96. Stu Clayton says

    So yahrzeit means specifically the anniversary of a person’s death. Wiktionary says

    # Borrowed from Yiddish יאָרצײַט‎ (yortsayt), from Middle High German jārzīt (“anniversary; Christian commemoration of a person’s death”) #

    which implies that modern Jahreszeit has lost that association with death, and with a particular day and person, and with “anniversary” altogether. It’s now a season of three months.

    What Yiddish word matches up with the general sense of “anniversary” ? Such as would be used in “wedding anniversary” ?

  97. Stu Clayton says

    It’s now a season of three months.

    Or just “season” in general, much like the English word in many uses. “The asparagus season” is just die Spargelzeit though. But “high times” is not Hochzeit. “Being high on asparagus” would be eine Spargeldröhnung haben .

  98. The anniversary of a family member’s death (pragmatically, that usually means a parent’s) is an important occasion in rabbinical Judaism. It’s common for someone who attends synagogue only rarely to nonetheless consistently come to services at the week of a parent’s yahrzeit. And yahrzeit is the only word normally used for it. It is a piece for of standard Jewish terminology, used in English discourse about Judaism, the same way thar lots of Hebrew terms are. It’s just unusual, although not unique, that it comes from Yiddish rather than Hebrew (or Aramaic).

  99. Christian commemoration of a person’s death

    interesting to see this in the MHG definition – i’d always assumed the yiddish meaning was a specifically jewish extension of “season”, not a shared sense of the word. i don’t have the german-reference-book knowledge to go looking, but i wonder when german lost that meaning (or whether it’s still active in some dialects – do the various german anabaptist communities care about death dates?).

  100. Is it already a year?
    The October of 2020 also took two relatives of mine and a coursemate, who passed away on his birthday.

  101. PlasticPaddy says

    From what I can gather, Jahreszeit “season” is a calque of Latin tempus anni (more often seen in the plural, tempora anni) and Jahrzeit “memorial anniversary” is an equivalent of Latin anniversarium (in Switzerland the word can or could even have the neuter gender, like the Latin). Something like Jahresfeier or Jahresandenken might seem a better choice for anniversarium, but Jahrzeit is (or mainly was) the word used.

  102. J.W. Brewer says

    Once upon a time among non-rabbinical Anglophones, there was a parallel normative custom of a specific religious observance on the anniversary of a loved one’s death — prototypically, having a mass said for the decedent. This custom got suppressed/marginalized among mainstream Anglophones at the Reformation due to Protestant hostility to its theological presuppositions (whether actual or misperceived), with the result that the traditional phrase “year’s mind” has a decidedly archaic ring to it. (I was gonna see what the OED had to say about the relevant sense of “mind,” but then I saw there were four pages full of different senses of “mind” and didn’t have time right now to wade through them.) I think strictly speaking “year’s mind” referred in its core sense to the actual religious event conducted on the anniversary rather than to the anniversary-of-death as such, but using it to refer to the latter is an obvious and easy bit of semantic extension or drift. Perhaps “Jahrzeit” had the same usage in Middle High German and perhaps it retains it among non-Protestant (and non-rabbinical) German-speakers?

    But separately the archaic feel of “year’s mind” caused by shifting theological context in the Anglophone world means that “mainstream” modern English doesn’t have a good standard word/phrase for “anniversary of death of a loved one,” which creates an opening for speakers like me (with greater-than-average levels of interaction with Ashkenazic-Americans w/o actually being a member of that community) to borrow the Yiddishism to fill that hole in the lexicon.

  103. (I was gonna see what the OED had to say about the relevant sense of “mind,” but then I saw there were four pages full of different senses of “mind” and didn’t have time right now to wade through them.)

    That’s where the online OED reigns supreme; a search turns up all occurrences, including this main entry, first in the First Edition (1921), revised for the Second Edition (1989), and fully revised for the Third Edition in September 2014:

    Etymology: In α. forms (i) < the genitive of year n. + mind n.¹ (compare mind n.¹ 4b); in β. forms (ii) < year n. + mind n.¹; both apparently after post-classical Latin anniversarium anniversary n.
    Compare earlier anniversary n. 1 and also twelvemonth(‘s) mind at twelvemonth n. 2. Compare further year’s day n. 2 and year-day n. 2.

    Compare Old English gēargemynd, in the same sense ( < year n. + i-mind n.):
    OE Possessions, Rents, & Grants, Bury St. Edmunds in A. J. Robertson Anglo-Saxon Charters (1956) 196 Ðis is seo caritas þe Baldwine abbot hæfð geunnon his gebroðrum for Eadwardes sawle þæs godan kynges, þæt is healf pund æt his geargemynde to fisce.

    Chiefly Roman Catholic Church.

    The commemoration of a deceased person by the celebration of a requiem mass, prayers, etc., on a day one year from the date of the death or funeral, or every year on the anniversary of this date. Cf. month’s mind n. 1.

    a1400 Prymer (St. John’s Cambr.) (1891) 74 Ȝif to the soule of thy seruaunt, whas ȝeresmynde we maken to day, a seete of kelynge blisse.
    1408 in F. J. Furnivall Fifty Earliest Eng. Wills (1882) 15 That..hys Executours..haue..rewlyng of my obytis, that ys for to sayn, my ȝerys mynde, xx wynter Af[t]er my deses.
    1520 R. Elyot Will in T. Elyot Gouernour (1880) I. App. A. 310 The prest executing the service at myn enteryng, moneth mynde, and yeres mynde.
    1606 P. Holland in tr. Suetonius Hist. Twelve Caesars Annot.19/2 Augustus had in mirth given him the name of Founder, he was so reputed, and his yeares minde after his death solemnized accordingly.
    1661 T. Blount Glossographia (ed. 2) sig. Cc3/1 Minnyng days, days which our Ancestors called their Moneths minde, their Years mind, and the like, being the days whereon their Souls (after their deaths) were had in special remembrance.
    1768 H. Walpole Mysterious Mother ii. ii. 35 Thither we, At his year’s mind, in sad and solemn guise, Proceed to chant out holy dirge.
    1849 D. Rock Church our Fathers II. i. vii. 350 No others’ names were read out but of those whose anniversary or year’s mind fell upon that very Sunday or festival.
    1902 Westm. Gaz. 4 Feb. 7/3 The ‘Year’s Mind’ of her late Majesty Queen Victoria was celebrated at St. Matthew’s, Westminster, this morning.
    2010 A. Davison & A. Milbank For Parish viii. 185 When we mark the ‘year’s mind’ of the dead, it is as recalling people who are alive in eternity, not a mere memory.

    1489 Will of Robard Partrich (P.R.O.: PROB. 11/9) f. 7 vs. yerely to the keping of a yer minde for my soule.
    1579 T. North tr. Plutarch Liues 1107 For keeping of a yeareminde and for making feastfull dayes In honor of that worthie wight.
    ?1590 W. Perkins Treat. Damnation or Grace 314 This seruice is prescribed by the religion of the Church of Rome… After his death, to haue Funerall, and Obites saide for him, and to bee rong for at his Funerall Moneths minde, and Yeare minde.

    1923 G. G. Coulton Five Cent. Relig. I. vii. 119 The Trental is a series of thirty Masses..On a more modest scale were the month-mind or year-mind Masses.

    The sense mind n.¹ is “The state of being remembered; remembrance, recollection” (as in “come to mind”); mind n.¹ 4b is “The commemoration of a deceased person on the date of the death or funeral in any month or year following, originally by a requiem mass, and (in later use) more usually by prayers. Subsequently only in month’s mind n., twelvemonth(‘s) mind at twelvemonth n. 2, and year’s mind n.”

  104. The “month’s mind (mass)” is very much a continuing tradition among Catholics in Ireland.

  105. David Marjanović says

    That’s interesting. I wasn’t aware of any tradition of remembering the dead on the anniversary of their deaths, Catholic or otherwise. The closest thing I knew is All Souls’ Day (Nov. 2nd).

    But “high times” is not Hochzeit.

    “Peak” as in “at its peak” is sometimes Hochzeit with the /oː/ of hoch. “Wedding” is Hochzeit with /ɔ/ as you’d expect from the spelling; I don’t know what happened there.

  106. J.W. Brewer says

    The quotation marks around “year’s mind” in the OED’s 1902 quote concerning Queen Victoria may be some evidence that it was thought an obscure term that readers might not know. Googling suggests that St. Matthew’s, Westminster was and is a notably Anglo-Catholic C. of E. parish and thus would have likely have been enthusiastic about the post-Oxford-Movement factional revival of the sort of prayers and masses “pro defunctis” that had fallen into disfavor at the Reformation. if the C. of E. as a whole had been fully on board with that revival as of that date there presumably would have been such a service for Her Late Majesty at some much more high-profile location like Westminster Abbey.

  107. i don’t have the german-reference-book knowledge to go looking, but i wonder when german lost that meaning (or whether it’s still active in some dialects – do the various german anabaptist communities care about death dates?).
    It’s not about losing a meaning – Jahrzeit and Jahreszeit are different words. The latter, meaning “season”, is an everyday word, as others already said in this thread. Jahrzeit “mass in remembrance of a dead person” is a rare word now; I had never encountered it before the discussion in this thread. Duden marks it as specifically Swiss.

  108. January First-of-May says

    a season of three months

    Ditto Russian время года, likely calqued from somewhere else on the same track. I think non-three-month uses are possible but offhand I can’t think of any in particular.

  109. David Marjanović wrote:

    That’s interesting. I wasn’t aware of any tradition of remembering the dead on the anniversary of their deaths, Catholic or otherwise. The closest thing I knew is All Souls’ Day (Nov. 2nd).

    I’m surprised at this comment. Where I am from it is normal for Catholics to have a mass said on the anniversary of a person’s death and I assumed it was still that way around the world. Almost every mass said at my parish is said for somebody’s soul* and as far as I know that’s true at any other parish in the area. In Catholic piety the whole month of November is dedicated to the souls in Purgatory.

    *One could have a special Mass of the Dead (Requiem) said for the deceased but nowadays most people will ask for a regularly scheduled mass to be offered for the deceased. Since most parishes have daily mass one is usually available on the anniversary of someone’s death or on a day close to it.

    There are other ways to pray for and commemorate the dead as well, such as rosaries, novenas and the Office of the Dead from the Liturgy of the Hours.

  110. thanks, @PlasticPaddy @Hans @hat!

    and i really like “year’s mind” and will start confusing my non-yiddishlekh friends with it forthwith!

  111. David Marjanović says

    most people will ask for a regularly scheduled mass to be offered for the deceased

    One or two deceased are routinely mentioned in Sunday mass, but I always thought they had died recently, not a whole number of years ago.

  112. At synagogue services, the prayers in honor of the dead are an important part near the end of the liturgy. Both the recently deceased and those who died that week* in previous years are included. The rabbi normally reads two separate lists of names submitted by congregants. Then, as with the prayer for the sick (another important segment near the end of any Jewish service), attendees are asked to add the name of anyone who should be added to the congregation’s prayers (e.g. on the Friday night service on September 30, 2016, I named Shimon Peres,** who had died two days earlier).

    There are a few elements of the Christian mass that were adopted directly from first-century-C.-E. Jewish practice, although I don’t think the prayers for the dead are among them. Prayers for the dead are a very common feature of world religions, and there is actually a crucial difference between the prayers in the Christian and Jewish faiths. Christianity’s most fundamental focus is the afterlife and immortality of the soul, so Christian prayers for the dead are not necessarily conceived as mere expressions of remembrance and thanks (Jewish, “May their memory be for a blessing”) but as pleas for support or intercession on behalf of an existing soul, who may be experiencing a troubled afterlife.

    * In non-Orthodox congregations, yahrzeits are normally calculated using the Gregorian calendar. However, traditionally the Hebrew calendar was obviously used, and some Conservative and Reform Jews still prefer to use the old calendar for family yahrzeits (for example, if someone’s death fell in the week of a holiday or special Shabbat). Using the Hebrew calendar can have peculiar effects, however, since seven years out of every nineteen (e.g. the current year, 5782) feature the month of Adar twice.

    ** I admired Peres and his work on the peace process for a long time. When I actually got to meet him, very briefly, I found myself uncharacteristically tongue-tied and didn’t really say anything to him.

  113. David Eddyshaw says

    Christian prayers for the dead are not necessarily conceived as mere expressions of remembrance and thanks

    Prayers for the dead are actually not a thing for Protestants: they only make sense if you believe in Purgatory, which we officially don’t (“a fond thing, vainly invented.”)

    The Ashanti have repeated funerals at various timelengths for each person. After the initial one, these are actually largely synchronised, so that at certain seasons in the south of Ghana you will repeatedly pass through villages where everybody is dressed in (very striking) black funeral togas.

  114. John Cowan says

    Indeed, historically the whole theory of Purgatory was invented to explain prayers for the dead (which go back to the 1C if not before) rather than the other way about.

  115. I love that there’s an Anglican Mission in England, and I thoroughly understand why.

  116. J.W. Brewer says

    Belief in Purgatory and disbelief in the desirability or efficacy of prayer for the dead are both post-patristic Western heresies that are naturally rejected by the True Church. It is rumored that they are *separate* heresies not typically held by the same heretic, but that’s the sort of detail that may be of interest only to specialists in the field. Re John Cowan’s point, the excessive and imprudent desire for a fully-articulated rational explanation of exactly why the Church does what the Church has always done is IMHO a major factor in heresy-generation.

  117. J.W. Brewer says

    Separately, it might be noted that neither the 39 Articles nor any Calvinistic text define the outer boundaries of Protestant belief even on a fairly narrow construction of “Protestant.” The classical statement of Lutheran doctrine (from the Apology for the Augsburg Confession) is “Now, as regards the adversaries’ citing the Fathers concerning the offering for the dead, we know that the ancients speak of prayer for the dead, which we do not prohibit; but we disapprove of the application ex opere operato of the Lord’s Supper on behalf of the dead. Neither do the ancients favor the adversaries concerning the opus operatum.”

  118. See here (and ff.) for previous discussions of Purgatory, in particular, how Luther worked backwards from the inefficacy of selling indulgences, to the non-existence of Purgatory, to salvation by faith alone. (My description of the analogous train of thinking in Calvinism has all the subtlety of Season Hubley in Hardcore though.)

  119. Re John Cowan’s point, the excessive and imprudent desire for a fully-articulated rational explanation of exactly why the Church does what the Church has always done is IMHO a major factor in heresy-generation.”

    Can I be forgiven for pointing out that most, if not all, of the major heresies of the first millenium like Arianism, Iconoclasm, etc. arose in the East and the controversies affected the West less for the most part? The major splits in the Church of the first millenium occurred in the East: the Assyrians Church of the East, the Non-Chalcedonians ( the Copts, the Armenians, etc.)

    I know that Catholicism often gets criticized for legalism by other Christians but I think it’s unfair and the legalism often exaggerated. Besides, people have questions and will always have questions. I think the attempts to answer those questions through both faith and reason have served Catholics well.

    Finally, the belief in Purgatory and the “excessive and imprudent desire” for reasons have fed a ferment in thought and devotion that brought about some of the greatest art and literature. Dante’s Divine Comedy for example ( I am currently following along Baylor University’s 100 Days of Dante project ), the requiems by different composers, etc.

    I recently read Tolkien’s “Lead by Niggle” story. Somehow I missed reading it before even though I read “On Fairy Stories” a long time ago and despite being a big Tolkien fan. I knew bits about it and knew it had something to do with the afterlife but everything I read gave me the impression it had mainly to to with the nature of art and of being an artist. My big surprise was discovering it had as much ( if not more ) to do with sanctification and Purgatory as it had to to with art. The entire last part was set in Purgatory, basically, including the part about the tree.

  120. David Eddyshaw says

    As CS Lewis remarked, in a highly Protestant-friendly formulation:

    There may be pleasures in hell (God shield us from them), there may be something not all unlike pains in heaven (God grant us soon to taste them).

    The point about Purgatory is of course that the souls therein are already saved.
    The last line of Inferno is, after all

    E quindi uscimmo a riveder le stelle.

  121. J.W. Brewer says

    I don’t think Pancho and I are necessarily at odds at least as to his first point. During much of the first millennium, Western Europe was an anti-intellectual backwater where not even the clergy could be depended upon to be literate in Greek. The so-called Dark Ages were thus a prophylactic against the sort of hubristic intelligentsia who tend to be fruitful heresy-generators. By the eleventh century, things were becoming otherwise in the West, for good or for ill. I guess earlier on late-Roman Iberia did give rise to Priscillianism,* and Irenaeus of Lyons condemned quite a wide variety of heresies (which he necessarily must therefore have been somewhat familiar with) from his vantage point in Gaul, but he wrote in Greek and that was before the orthodoxy-preserving safeguards of illiteracy and incuriosity had really been put in place.

    I certainly have nothing against Dante qua poet. I love the fact that W.S. Merwin decided to translate the Purgatorio rather than (or at least earlier than, and then he never got around to the others …) the other more high-profile parts of the D.C. and, somewhat hilariously in hindsight, I read the Merwin Purgatorio straight through while lazing on a beach on one of the last vacations I went on before the birth of my first child (now 20 years old). So it has come to symbolize for me the sort of lengthy and serious text one could still easily read when one did not have small children to be chasing after and taking care of.

    *The filioque is usually said to have been first interpolated into the Creed in 6th-century Spain as a reaction (an unfortunate overreaction, some might say) to some local heresy, but I’ve forgotten which one (don’t think Priscillianism?) and can’t be arsed to google it up.

  122. David Eddyshaw says

    Patriotism impels me to remind everyone that even in that backwateriest of provinces, Britain, we managed to produce a Premier League heresiarch of our very own:

    (Conceivably he was actually Irish, but that, of course, strengthens my point …)

  123. @David Eddyshaw: Do European heresies operate under a system of promotion and relegation?

  124. David Eddyshaw says

    Of course. Don’t American heresies?

  125. David Marjanović says

    Luther worked backwards from the inefficacy of selling indulgences, to the non-existence of Purgatory, to salvation by faith alone

    …huh. I didn’t know that. It seems logically… backward.

    Irenaeus of Lyons condemned quite a wide variety of heresies (which he necessarily must therefore have been somewhat familiar with)

    Are you sure? For the next 1500 years, Western theologists routinely condemned lists of heresies that they largely just copied from each other, except for occasionally tacking new ones on to the end.

    I know that Catholicism often gets criticized for legalism by other Christians but I think it’s unfair and the legalism often exaggerated.

    As far as I understand, this isn’t specifically about legalism, it’s about the Orthodox emphasis on faith over theology, the active refusal to “turn religion into a form of higher geometry”. Of course the attempts to rationally understand things have their limits in Catholicism and, AFAIK, all the Protestant diversity; the most blatant example may be that it has always been the position of the Catholic Church that no Puny Human can possibly really understand the Trinity – we can perhaps approach it through various metaphors, but not very far. But in general, the Western churches have taken such attempts much farther than the Orthodox church, often encouraging them (at least since Thomas Aquinas) while Orthodoxy actively resists them.

  126. J.W. Brewer says

    @David M.: Well, Irenaeus was early enough in the sequence that if he just cut-and-pasted someone else’s list of heresies we don’t know who he cut-and-pasted from. *Someone* had to start the heresy-anthology ball rolling, and for all we know it was him.

  127. the sort of hubristic intelligentsia who tend to be fruitful heresy-generators.

    La trahison des clercs.

  128. John Cowan says

    The major splits in the Church of the first millenium occurred in the East

    Those which have survived, yes. But the 2C Valentinians started in Rome, though a branch spread to the East; the Barallots or Compliers were local to Bologna; the 4C-6C Donatists and their offshoot the Circumcellions began in Carthage and were basically confined to the Western Empire; the 1C-4C Marcionites also began in Rome, though they lasted till the 7C in the East. Granted, there were even more heresies in the East.

  129. The Donatists may have begun in Carthage for all I know, but the Circumcellions (on whom I can by now be considered an expert) were peasants from the boonies of southern Numidia.

  130. John Cowan says

    True, O King, live forever! But Numidia at its largest historical extent ran from the longitude of southeastern Spain to that of Sicily, and was distinctly part of the Western, Latin-speaking, and Catholic Roman Empire. (Carthage and its boonies were part of the adjacent Province of Africa, more or less northeastern Tunisia.)

    Indeed, the Circumcellions were Punic-speaking and had no Latin. (What language the Israelites spoke, though a puzzling question, is not beyond all conjecture.)

  131. Sure, I wasn’t contesting the Western Empire part, just the Carthage part.

  132. jorzait

    From Middle High German jārzīt, equivalent to jor (“year”) +‎ zait (“time”). Direct cognate with Yiddish יאָרצײַט‎ (yortsayt); compare also German Jahreszeit.

    jorzait f (plural jorzaitn)

    1. season

    Cimbrian, Ladin, Mòcheno: Getting to know 3 peoples

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