Wild Rose.

I am experiencing a lexical/botanical crisis, and I hope the Hattery can help. I’ve long been vaguely familiar with the Russian word шиповник, defined by my trusty Oxford dictionary as ‘wild rose’; I knew it mainly as the name of a Silver Age publisher, and thought of it as “some kind of plant.” But having just run across it in a novel I’m reading, I thought I’d better refresh my memory, and when I googled it the page said prominently “Rose / Plant.” “It’s not just a rose, is it?” thought I, but when I went to the Russian Wikipedia page I discovered it was the equivalent of the English one for Rose, and said “Запрос «Rosa» перенаправляется сюда” [The query “Rosa” redirects here]. So it is just a rose? But checking the Russian corpus got me citations like “Изредка, там же, растет и шиповник ― дикая роза; чаще всего это роза собачья” [Occasionally, there is also a шиповник, the wild rose, growing there; most often it is the dog rose]. So it’s a special variety of rose? But then why is the Wikipedia article called Шиповник and not Роза? And what is a “wild rose” anyway? That is not an English lexical item (at least it’s not in any of my dictionaries, even the OED), it’s just a collocation — a rose that happens to be wild. Can anyone who knows more about botany than I disentangle this for me? And can my Russian-speaking readers tell me how they think of шиповник and роза? Are they pretty much the same thing, used in different contexts, or distinct plants?


  1. Stu Clayton says

    “some kind of plant.”

    That’s how I’ve always dealt with botanical items in literature – “it’s some kind of plant”, and left it at that. There are plenty of novels people gush about that are full of specific tree/flower names, like the Recherche (IIRC) or 19C English novels with their “avenues of lime trees”. My only association there is with Margaritas. And as far as I can tell a madeleine is some kind of thistle.

  2. Stu Clayton says

    Your curiosity may be due to the onset of age, as with myself, who am but a few meters ahead of you finishing up life’s final lap. I find myself wanting to know the names of flowers – which I never did before. And you know what ? Ordinary Germans I ask mostly don’t have a clue, no matter what sex and age they are.

    Isn’t it exciting to have reached the frontiers of knowledge on such an apparently banal subject ? The world needs rediscovering. There is no time to look for advanced civilizations on the moons of Jupiter. They too may well have forgotten everything they ever knew. That factor should be multiplied into the Drake equation.

  3. Ben Tolley says

    I’m no botanist, but as someone who does take an interest in wildflowers I encounter, their nomenclature in English, French and German at least is messy – a single plant regularly has a lengthy list of names, some of those names will also be used for at least one other plant, similar species may well not have been distinguished historically and attempts to introduce distinctions haven’t necessarily improved the situation. I can’t speak for Russian, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s similar and what exactly distinguishes роза and шиповник, if anything, may be difficult to pin down. For what it’s worth, wild rose for me prototypically means Rosa canina, and I think that’s generally true in Britain, though it’s not the only species of rose to grow in the wild here.

  4. ə de vivre says

    I know “wildrose” from the eponymous defunct Albertan political party. Wikipedia informs me that the wild rose in question is Rosa acicularis, provincial flower of Alberta. Wikipedia also informs me that this plant has “a Holarctic distribution in northern regions of Asia, Europe, and North America” and is known in Russian as “Шиповник иглистый.” Perhaps this is the plant you’re looking for?

  5. Jen in Edinburgh says

    A wild rose for me is usually https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosa_canina – there are others listed at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_Rose, but I think it depends which ones grow where you are.

    A garden rose growing wild would still just be a rose – wild roses/dog roses are definitely the ones with a single layer of petals. (Although some people grow wild roses in their gardens – more often https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosa_acicularis – just to be confusing!)

  6. Perhaps this is the plant you’re looking for?

    No, шиповник is clearly more generic than that. But how generic?? Ben Tolley may well be right that “what exactly distinguishes роза and шиповник, if anything, may be difficult to pin down.”

  7. Jen: Thanks, though now I’m more confused than ever!

  8. And why the devil doesn’t the OED have an entry for “wild rose,” at least a subentry under “rose,” when a search turns up loads of citations like “A wild rose, or rock-loving columbine”; “other species such as wild rose, bayberry, and beech peas”; “Where the wild-rose blossoms fair; and sapling ash”; “the Shagged-Galls or Sponges of ye Wild rose”; etc. etc.? It’s clearly a thing!

  9. For a lay-person (non-botanist) native speaker, the difference is in the look of the flower. E.g. on the list here https://www.countryliving.com/gardening/garden-ideas/g32146642/roses-types/ I would say that numbers 4, 8, 16 are шиповник, even if they are actually cultivated / not wild. We are talking about fewer petals, and flowers in clusters, as opposed to роза where flowers are not clustered but have many layers of petals. Of course, given the amount of different varieties existing nowadays, I am sure that some are ambiguous and in-between.

  10. AB: Thanks very much, that’s exactly what I needed! I showed your selections to my wife, and she said she saw the common nature of that group (and wanted to “surround our house with them”). Now I think I could look at a flower and say “Ah, шиповник!”

  11. I am surprised the OED lacks “wild rose”. It must have “dog rose”? Has either “wild” or “rose” had a third-edition makeover yet?

    I’m as botanically ignorant as previous commenters, though I do know the margarita lime does not grow on the lime trees of English avenues, which Americans probably call lindens?

  12. It must have “dog rose”?

    Yes (updated November 2010):

    †1. A growth or gall on the root of a plant; perhaps the Mediterranean plant Cytinus hypocistis, which grows as a parasite on the roots of the rock rose. Obsolete. rare.

    2. Any of several wild scrambling roses; spec. the Eurasian and North African species Rosa canina, a deciduous shrub having delicately scented, typically pale pink flowers and orange-red fruit (hips), which is commonly found in hedgerows.
    1597 J. Gerard Herball iii. 1088 Plinie..saith, that it is Rosa Canina, Dogs Rose.
    1675 Philos. Trans. (Royal Soc.) 10 316 A sort of Dogs-rose or Briar-bush.
    1999 A. Arensberg Incubus vi. xviii. 201 She turned left at the edge of the meadow, picking her way toward a stand of dog rose.

    3. Australian. The plant Bauera rubioides (family Saxifragaceae), of coastal areas in eastern Australia, which has pale pink rose-like flowers similar to those of Rosa canina. Also more fully native dog rose, wild dog rose.

    Has either “wild” or “rose” had a third-edition makeover yet?

    Not “wild,” but “rose” was also updated in November 2010. They pretty much throw up their hands:

    The ease of hybridization between different species of the genus Rosa and the numerous cultivated varieties in existence make formal classification within this genus difficult. Roses are often categorized into groups according to certain (chiefly floral) characteristics, as damask, moss, tea rose, etc.

    And they have citations like:

    a1398 J. Trevisa tr. Bartholomaeus Anglicus De Proprietatibus Rerum (BL Add.) f. 243ᵛ Þe rose of gardyn and þe wilde rose beþ dyuerse in multitude of floures and smell and colour. […]
    1781 W. Cowper Retirem. 420 Her hedge-row shrubs..With woodbine and wild roses mantled o’er.

    They trace the English word back to classical Latin rosa “flower which grows upon a shrub of the genus Rosa, rosebush, oil of roses” and say that is “related to ancient Greek ῥόδον rose, ῥοδέα rosebush, although the details are unclear. Classical Latin rosa may represent an adoption of ancient Greek ῥοδέα via Etruscan (which would explain the retention of intervocalic -s- in Latin), but the sense of the Etruscan words ruze, rusi is unknown.”

  13. David Marjanović says

    AB says exactly what I expected.

  14. It’s probably wild rose — Rosa canina, шипка in Bulgarian. Makes for good tea when dried.

  15. David Marjanović says

    de:WP Hagebutte (rose hip) offers a parallel for only domestic roses being called rosa:

    Der botanische Ausdruck Rose bezog sich ursprünglich nur auf die veredelten Gartenpflanzen. So unterschied Hildegard von Bingen in der Physica die Gartenrose rosa und die Heckenrose hyffa.[2]

    Hildegard of Bingen was a medieval saint who wrote a lot about herbs.

  16. Non-botanists know her mainly as a composer.

  17. It looks like your шипка is pretty much the same as Russian шиповник.

  18. Probably.

  19. David Marjanović says

    Non-botanists know her mainly as a composer.

    Not in German-speaking places, where all the herbal/health woo claims her.

    She did other stuff, too, though – like come up with the world’s first documented conlang…

  20. As seen here a decade ago.

  21. Dmitry Pruss says

    Er, just when I was away photographing some flowers, the botany question arose.
    Shipovnik is generic for all plants from the genus Rosa which are not cultivated. As in, if it is cultivated then it’s imported from the West, and therefore given the Western name “rose”. If it just grows then it’s just a thorn-bush which is what shipovnik obviously means. If the fruit of the rose is used (for herbal rosehip teas or syrups) then it automatically becomes shipovnik too (presumably because it isn’t a Westernized use?).
    Most cultivated roses nowadays have multiple rows of petals, and it instantly makes such a plant a rose in Russian. In contrast, shipovnik naturally has just 5 petals. When we cut down a garden rose in the backyard too low, below the graft junction, it happily sprouted thorny branches with 5 plain rosy petals, instantly turning from a rose it used to be to a shipovnik bush.
    In Utah there is one common wild rose species, Rosa woodsii (5 petals, rosy or white), which automatically qualifies it as another shipovnik.

    English words “wild rose”, on the other hand, is a bag of tricks because all sorts of flowering bushes are called that way in addition to the actual wild members of the Rosa genus.

  22. Thanks!

  23. Marina Shrago says

    Шиповник is eglantine, aka wild briar, dog rose, and hedge rose. It’s a wild rose, but not a domesticated rose that happens to be wild, just as a jackal is not a dog that happens to be wild. Eglantine can be domesticated in that you often see it growing in gardens. It’s not a good garden plant because it will try to take over everything, think mint or bamboo. In literature it is not used in the same context as a rose – it’s less showy, wild, medicinal (try the syrup from hips – it’s amazing), and not associated with romance in any way.

  24. Then there are what I know as old-fashioned roses: cultivated, but more compact than the more modern big cultivated roses. Some varieties have a single row of petals.

    I assume those are роза as well?

  25. While I’ve got Russian-speakers here: am I correct in thinking that the last word in “всюду были джинсы, жвачки, сникерсы и марсы” (about the early 1990s in Russia) refers to Mars bars?

  26. Marina Shrago says

    Yup, марсы are the Mars bars

  27. @Y, some newly created cultivars are looking decisively old-fashioned, say

    Many Rosa rugosa’s have just one row of petals, too.

    It sort of confuses my sensibilities. If I see one in the gardening store, then of course it’s a роза. But if it’s found in the far corner of the garden, then who I am to know that it was planted on purpose rather than grew all by itself? It would be a gray zone of sorts where both words may apply.

  28. January First-of-May says

    Dmitry Pruss is correct about rosehip: this is a thing that is very much associated with шиповник and not at all with роза. Your typical thornbush would have pretty pink flowers with large visible middles (I don’t think having just one layer of petals was a requirement, and offhand I don’t even recall it being true – my memory nicely gives me mental images of multiple layers of pink petals) and, in the right (summer) season, pretty red fruit (the outer layers are also quite tasty, but it’s highly nontrivial to get rid of all the traces of the inedible inner parts).

    [EDIT: after checking some pictures of the relevant species, I suspect that was probably thinking of flowers like these – which indeed have just the five petals, but those petals are so wide as to give the impression of multiple layers.]

    Incidentally, Russian Wikipedia claims that the common wild rose of European Russia is in fact Rosa majalis rather than Rosa canina. OTOH, looking at the pics, I’m not sure I could tell them apart even if I knew they were different species.

  29. @LH, as an urban Russian I’m confused too.

    From my perspective as a child:

    Шиповник is what grows in your neighbourhood, роза is what you buy in a shop.
    Also the fruit obtained at a pharmacy (USSR) or also supermarkets (Russia) is called плоды шиповника, while … water and …. oil are розовая вода and розовое масло.
    Also розовый is “pink”:-)

    Now people say they are the same, and indeed they are similar. Flowers are different, but in books people have gardens and plant “розы” there – maybe those are like those in shops, but it is plausible that they too grow on bushes and then maybe they indeed are identical to my шиповник?
    The idea that my шиповник is Роза is appealing.

    And then when I was 16 I joined a botanical expedition to the Cola peninsula. Its head was telling lots of interesting stuff about plants. Once I pointed at a new one and asked what is it, and he said “some rose”. I looked closely… yes, it looked like some rose, just a very small rose:) And I thought “wow, so I can call any шиповник ‘rose’?”

  30. Dmitry Pruss says

    > he said “some rose”

    the genus name is Rosa, so it could have been a scientific name for the group of plants which just happens to be the same as the Russian name for the cultivated plants within this group.

    Botanists frequently think in scientific names of the genera…

  31. Trond Engen says

    Embarrassing as it is, it never occured to me that the 5-petal “rose” of heraldry is an actual old-fashioned rose rather than just a heraldic convention.

    Nyponsoppa “rosehip soup” is a big thing in Sweden. It exists here too, but it’s not surrounded by the same excitement.

    WIWAL we used rosehips as a source of itching powder.

  32. when I was 16 I joined a botanical expedition to the Kola peninsula.

    <envious face emoji>

  33. Stu Clayton says

    OK, thanks to AB’s photos I now suspect that several of the flowers/bushes/plants I’ve been asking about have been eglantine. Now there’s a word whose meaning I never knew, but always wanted to use.

  34. Dmitry Pruss says

    @Trond, so the technique is to blend boiled rose hips, seeds and all, and then get rid of the seeds by filtering through a fine sieve?
    Amazed that it works! The seeds are surrounded by itchy fibers all around… We just steep a bunch of foraged rosehips in a thermos to extract the flavor, but leave the flesh behind 🙂

  35. … and wanted to “surround our house with them”

    In preparation for the eagerly awaited Netflix series Languagehat, shrouded in mystery, rumour, and industry intrigue? Yes please!

  36. Dmitry Pruss: Be careful when eating rosehip jam, it has a very powerful effect on bowel movement.

  37. i typed the phrase “wild rose” into Google’s translator and got this:

    رز وحشی

    unfortunately, i don’t speak or read or write Farsi.

    just transliterating, for the six letters i’m getting r z oo h sh i.

    is that rzuhshi? doesn’t sound russian. what, shipovnik? didn’t read and won’t now. best wishes to all, though.

  38. John Cowan says

    Eglantine [is] not associated with romance in any way.

    That depends on what sort of romance you have in mind. Oberon to Puck, in A Midsummer Night’s Dream:

    I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
    Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
    Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
    With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine:
    There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,
    Lull’d in these flowers with dances and delight;
    And there the snake throws her enamell’d skin,
    Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in:
    And with the juice of this I’ll streak her eyes,
    And make her full of hateful fantasies.
    Take thou some of it, and seek through this grove:
    A sweet Athenian lady is in love
    With a disdainful youth: anoint his eyes;
    But do it when the next thing he espies
    May be the lady: thou shalt know the man
    By the Athenian garments he hath on.
    Effect it with some care, that he may prove
    More fond on her than she upon her love:
    And look thou meet me ere the first cock crow.

  39. Re Mars bars, “сникерсы” also means Snickers bars in this sentence, not sneakers as in footwear.

  40. Trond Engen says

    @Dmitry: I’ve never made it myself, but I remember my mum doing (trying?) it once when I was small. I can’t recall much more than throwing rosehips into a boiler, but here’s WP:

    The best rose hips or nypon to make the soup are the large hips of Rosa rugosa, but the smaller hips of Rosa canina and Rosa dumalis are also commonly used. The hips form after the rose petals have fallen off. They are picked after the first frost of the fall, once ripe and red, then dried. Nyponsoppa is typically made with dried rose hips, water, potato starch (as a thickener), and sugar. The rose hips are boiled until they are soft and then blended with a mixer. The mixture is then run through a sieve and thickened with potato starch. Rose hips are rich in vitamin C.

    The blender must be a new thing.

  41. Trond Engen says

    Familiens store kokebok (my translation):


    1 l fresh or dried rosehips
    2 l water

    To 1 l of rosehip mush:
    1-2 T sugar
    3/4-1 T potato starch

    Ca. 50 g almonds

    Rinse the rosehips. Crush them if dried. Boil them soft in the water. Rub the soft rosehips through a sieve or use a blender. Measure the mush and add water as needed. Boil the rosehip mush and add sugar.

    Dissolve the potato starch in a couple of T cold water. Blend in and reboil the soup.

    Place strips of skinned almonds in the soup and serve.

    The soup can be served with whipped cream, or one can add a little vanilla icecream, sour cream, or cottage cheese in each serving.

  42. @drasvi, @Dmitry Pruss: “…some rose…”; “the genus name is Rosa…”

    “Какая-то роза” and “какая-то Rosa” sound the same in Russian. A botanist speaking his jargon would probably mean the latter.

    @Dmitry Pruss: “Shipovnik is generic for all plants from the genus Rosa which are not cultivated.”

    Agreed. This is why “wild rose” sounds a sensible, perhaps the best possible, translation to me. If rose corresponds to the genus Rosa, then – in lay speech – шиповник should correspond to all the wild roses, and роза, to all the other members of the genus.

  43. That depends on what sort of romance you have in mind.

    Indeed it does, though we would search in vain for a Roman de l’églantine. (Heh, Le Petit Robert has for églantine “Fleur de l’églantier, à cinq pétales”, and for églantier “Rosier sauvage” [wild rosebush].)

    Power and Charm

    A cot was ours, lone on a wooded fell
    That gazed into a fairy mere renowned.
    On our right hand the mountains gloomed around;
    Suave, on our left, were copse and ferny dell.
    Thus betwixt Power and Charm we abode; and well
    Loved we the brows of Power, with silence crowned;
    Yet many a time, when awesomely they frowned,
    To Charm we turned, with Charm, with Charm to dwell.
    So have I turned, when overbrooded long
    By that great star-familiar peak austere,

    My Milton’s Sinai-Helicon divine,
    To some far earthlier singer’s earthsweet song:
    A song frail as the windflower, and as dear,
    With no more purpose than the eglantine.

    – William Watson (1858–1935)

    Roses are ubiquitous and bear much metaphoric weight in Ulysses, but there’s only one mention of eglantine. A wordplayful one, at the “Scylla and Charybdis” episode:

    Eglintoneyes, quick with pleasure, looked up shybrightly. Gladly glancing, a merry puritan, through the twisted eglantine.

    Chaucer chose for his Prioress the name “Madame Eglantine”, and scholars cannot agree on the reason. Her tale, by the way, may be tenuously linked with the miserable song concerning a boy murdered by a Jewish girl in Ulysses, at the “Eumaeus” episode:

    She took a penknife out of her pocket
    And cut off his little head,
    And now he’ll play his ball no more
    For he lies among the dead.

    The Prioress, on the murder of an offensively pious Christian boy:

    Fro thennes forth the Jues han conspired
    This innocent out of this world to chace.
    An homycide therto han they hyred,
    That in an aleye hadde a privee place;
    And as the child gan forby for to pace,
    This cursed Jew hym hente, and heeld hym faste,
    And kitte his throte, and in a pit hym caste.

  44. Not “Eumaeus”. The “Ithaca” episode.

  45. Kate Bunting says

    Rosehip soup sounds delicious!

    Rosehip syrup as a source of Vitamin C used to be a big thing in the UK during and after WW2 when fruit couldn’t be imported. Children were paid for picking the hips – https://www.attleboroughheritage.org.uk/DocumentStore/Delrosa.pdf. I wasn’t old enough to do that, but I remember being given spoonfuls of the syrup in the 1950s.

  46. Re Mars bars, “сникерсы” also means Snickers bars in this sentence, not sneakers as in footwear.

    Thanks very much for that, it zipped right past me! Maybe you can help me with “Мама вначале работала в ЦММ, а потом перешла оттуда тоже переводчиком в Балтийский банк” — what’s ЦММ?

  47. “сникерсы и марсы”
    For me the canonical order is марс и сникерс, rather than сникерс и марс:)

    Recently I saw footage from some Middle Eastern country and immediately I recognised Iran. Because…
    …of a Pepsi-Cola banner.

  48. @Dmitry, yes. I was just trying to describe my trajectory as a speker.

    Because, of course, speakers learn meanings from context rather than having inborn knowlege of True Names of things (True Russian Names in this case…) and if for “perfective” I can’t tell how I learned it and describing my trajectory would take writing a thick compendium of contexts, with names it is easy. I simply remember what I thought about шиповник in various ages.

    (Recently a friend was discussing (in a phone conversation) роза bushes with me while walking in a park, and I wondered if she means plants of rose-as-in-shops (which I never see planted in Moscow) or if she too uses both words interchangeably or she does not use the name шиповник at all. I did not ask “is it a роза or шиповник?” because as I pointed above, I like the usage and did not want to sound as if I’m “correcting” her.)
    “Thorn bush” is a very literal translation of шиповник. And indeed you and J1M both used it.
    -овник is found e.g. in крыжовник.

    It can be used as a collective noun. And if I don’t remember what шип- “thorn” means when discussing шиповник, the “collective” aspect of its semantics is strongly felt

  49. Lars Mathiesen (he/him/his) says

    Nyponsoppa is indispensable to Swedes. even if they have decamped to the Alicante. I was never friends with the texture, though. There’s also Blåbärsoppa. (I don’t know if that one is still made on the [expensive] tiny European blueberries that can be harvested in Sweden, or on [cheaper] tasteless American ones and coloring. No coloring in the ingredients list, though).

  50. How do you make itching powder from rosehips?

  51. i went to schaechter’s Plant Names In Yiddish to see if it had anything to offer, but no such luck – at least in the searchable parts of the pdf text; i’m still on the road, so don’t have my paper copy. i was a bit surprised that he doesn’t seem to have R. canina, R. rubiginosa or some other “dog rose / wild rose / eglantine” in there at all, though i was expecting an annoying neologism rather than an actual name from common practice (and wondering if it would turn out to be “khazer-royz” or “hind-royz”). i’m glad to have an umbrella term for that whole set now, and i guess if i need a nickname in russian [etc.] i’ve got one waiting for me.

    the wild roses of my upbringing were specifically “beach roses”, which i’ve just confirmed are introduced R. rugosa (now endemic in new england, and also present where i am now on the salish sea. they smell more & better than most cultivated Rosa spp, and are tastily big-hipped.

  52. rozele, by the Salish Sea what you are likely to find is the Nootka rose, R. Nutkana.

  53. How do you make itching powder from rosehips?

    As best I remember, we would just crack open the hip with a fingernail, turn it inside out, then flick the contents down the back of someone’s collar.

  54. January First-of-May says

    When I looked up some pictures of R. rugosa they did match my mental image much better – both in the fruits (squashed rather than oblong) and in the flowers. I do recall them growing by the beaches (in Kaliningrad Oblast) and also in many non-beach places.

    Fun fact: despite active proliferation on Atlantic beaches, R. rugosa is an endangered species in its native China. Apparently there’s been a study that compared the introduced and native populations (of Europe and East Asia respectively), and the introduced ones were legitimately more reproductively capable; I didn’t quite understand how it could have happened, though.

  55. I remember that we got Hagebuttentee (rosehip infusion) to drink in the evenings when we were children. It was shop-bought, in tea bags. I haven’t tried it in ages, but I remember it having a strong, fruity taste.
    @Trond: “T” in the recipe means “table spoon”?

  56. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosa_canina – this is what I’d called шиповник and I never heard anybody mix these two plants (роза и шиповник). I mean, some lay (as contrasted to botanists) people know that they are related, but they are so far apart in typical looks and applications… The main association of шиповник are its fruits (berries) used in various forms (dried, jam, …)

  57. I don’t remember beach roses growing in significant quantity in the Pacific Northwest. I am an inveterate consumer of wild fruits, but the occasional wild-growing roses (around places like Neah Bay) tended to be scraggly and and clearly not well nourished. Had they been healthy and plentiful, I would certainly have eaten the rose hips. I may even have tried, but if I did, they must have been as dry and fleshless as the hips of garden roses.

    In contrast, the beach roses of Martha’s Vineyard grow in massive thickets that have to be pruned back. Visiting there in August, you can eat the hips right off the bushes. They have a sweet, fleshy layer between the skin and the fibrous wad of seeds. You can gnaw around the exterior to avoid the seeds.

  58. John Cowan says

    @Trond: “T” in the recipe means “table spoon”?

    I was wondering about that too. In the U.S. the most usual abbreviation for tablespoon (the quantity, not the spoon) is tbsp/Tbsp, and it is equal to 14.8 ml approximately (1/16 cup exactly, 3 teaspoons exactly). In Canada and the UK it is 15 ml exactly, and in Australia it is 20 ml exactly (where 4 tsp = 1 tbsp).

  59. Brett: indeed, not so much around Neah Bay. But plenty around the inner Salish Sea. It is often let grow wild near fences, and grows thick indeed, but less unruly than blackberries.

  60. David Marjanović says

    As best I remember, we would just crack open the hip with a fingernail, turn it inside out, then flick the contents down the back of someone’s collar.

    Can confirm. The seeds themselves were considered “itching powder” in my experience.


    The basic fruit tea.

    and it is equal to 14.8 ml approximately (1/16 cup exactly, 3 teaspoons exactly). In Canada and the UK it is 15 ml exactly, and in Australia it is 20 ml exactly (where 4 tsp = 1 tbsp).

    Over here, they’re instead taken literally (“take one of your tea-/tablespoons and fill it”), and their usage is taken as proof that exact measurements are unnecessary; they also come in both gehäuft (the spoon has a heap on it) and gestrichen (the spoon is only filled to its upper rim, any heap has been shaved off).

  61. Stu Clayton says

    gehäufter Löffel = heaped/heaping spoonful

    gestrichener Löffel = level spoonful

  62. liebevoller Löffel = lovin’ spoonful

  63. Trond Engen says

    T = tablespoon. I thought I’d read that in recipes (also t for teaspoon), and I obviously was too lazy to check.

  64. in Australia it is 20 ml exactly (where 4 tsp = 1 tbsp)

    Our actual physical tablespoons are perhaps overgrown. Young Australians are often unfamiliar with the term, or might apply it to a dinner spoon. Well! I’m surprised to find not one dinner spoon in the full text of OED, and this at Wikipedia (“Tablespoon”):

    A tablespoon (tbsp. , Tbsp. , Tb. , or T.) is a large spoon. In many English-speaking regions, the term now refers to a large spoon used for serving;[1] however, in some regions, it is the largest type of spoon used for eating.

    And OED, referred to in that Wikipedia excerpt, at “Tablespoon”:

    1. A large spoon (larger than a dessertspoon) for serving food. Also occasionally: a (smaller) spoon used for eating.

    OED has “dessert-spoon” at the entry “dessert”:

    dessert-spoon n. those used for the dessert; a dessert-spoon is intermediate in size between a table-spoon and a tea-spoon.
    1808 J. AUSTEN Let. 28 Dec. (1995) 161 A whole Tablespoon & a whole dessert-spoon, & six whole Teaspoons.
    1870 E. B. RAMSAY Reminisc. Sc. Life (ed. 18) vi. 203 The servant..put down..a dessert-spoon.
    1875 Family Herald 13 Nov. 30/2 Take..one dessertspoonful of allspice.

    So … what spoon does OED expect us to use for any main course that requires a spoon? Come to think of it, I do recall my mother calling a dinner spoon a dessert spoon. Hmm.

    Wikipedia’s “List of types of spoons” makes no mention of dinner spoons, and has only this for tablespoons (but see Wikipedia excerpt above): “sometimes used for ice cream and soup; standard capacity of three teaspoons; a cooking measure of volume”, and this for dessert spoons: “intermediate in size between a teaspoon and a tablespoon, used in eating dessert and sometimes soup or cereals.”

    A Google book search gets many hits that contrast “dessert spoon” and “dinner spoon”. Among those, Etiquette For Dummies is singularly unhelpful. See also the diagram on that page.

    (Stu, I’m afraid I’m not ready for that dinner invitation. Give me a month for careful study first.)

  65. i couldn’t swear to whether what i’ve been seeing are rugosa or nutkana – some kind of шиповник or other! and yes, not nearly as luxuriant as on the new england coast – but a steady presence a lot of the places i’ve been this trip.

  66. ЦММ – Центр менеджмента и маркетинга. Gorbunova gives this deabbreviation (? I know it’s called “full form”, but that is unsatisfactory, we need a word for unpacking an abbreviation specifically) a page above. The name, “Management and marketing center” is as much hollow and non-specific in Russian as in English.

  67. Stu Clayton says

    Unbreviation. Or maybe debriefing, although that has connotations of removing male underwear.

  68. ЦММ – Центр менеджмента и маркетинга.

    Thanks very much!

  69. WIWAL we used rosehips as a source of itching powder.

    Cf. French colloquial gratte-cul ‘rosehip’ (as in the proverbial Il n’est point de rose qui ne devienne gratte-cul). However, in these verses, Voltaire makes a distinction between gratte-cul and other roses:

    Ou bien, si vous voulez encore
    Ainsi qu’une abeille au matin
    Va sucer les pleurs de l’aurore,
    Ou sur l’absinthe ou sur le thym,
    Toujours travaille et toujours cause,
    Et nous pétrit son miel divin
    Des gratte-culs et de la rose

    I suppose that here gratte-cul is specifically R. canina, шиповник.

  70. I can no longer see the word canina without thinking of “Lingua latina non penis canina.

  71. Goddammit, I see Lurkomore has closed down (and been excluded from the Wayback Machine), apparently because of the war.

  72. i typed the phrase “wild rose” into Google’s translator and got this: رز وحشی
    unfortunately, i don’t speak or read or write Farsi.

    I don’t quite understand what this comment was getting at with رز وحشی roz-e vahshî ‘wild rose’ (which could also be read raz-e vahshî ‘wild grapevine, wild vineyard’), but the Encyclopædia Iranica has an article on roses, including the following items that are often translated ‘wild rose’, نسترن nastaran and نسرین nasrīn:

    6. Nastaran, already mentioned as a fragrant flower in the Bundahišn (tr. Anklesaria, 16.13; tr. Bahār, p. 88), where it is also said to be the emblem of the Amešāspand Rašnu (tr. Ankelsaria, 16A.2; tr. Bahār, p. 88). It is most probably a variety of the dog rose (see R. canina above) with fragrant corymbose white flowers; as to its color and its scent cf. nastaran-e mošk-buy… sim-aš dar gardan-ast “the musk-scented nastaran… has silver in its collar,” ān nastaran čo nāf-e bolurin-e delbar-i “that nastaran [is] like the crystal-clear navel of a sweetheart” (Manučehri, pp. 18, 114), and nastaran loʾloʾ-e bayżā/lālā dārad andar gušvār “the nastaran has white/brilliant pearls in [its] earring” (Farroḵi Sistāni, p. 175).

    7. Nasrin. Some lexicographers (e.g., Dāʿi-al-Eslām, s.v.) believe it to be the same as nastaran, but Manučehri has mentioned both as two different flowers in the same poem (ll. 1513 and 1524). His description “nasrin dahān ze dorr-e monażżad konad hami” (the nasri makes [its] mouth of strung pearls) would indicate a double white rose; de Fouchécour (p. 85) defines nasrin as “small white hundred-petaled rose,” apparently translating nasrin’s definition in the Borhān-e qāṭeʿ (ed. Moʿin, p. 2139), where it is vaguely described as being of two kinds, gol-e moškin “musky rose” (probably the above R. moschata, called nasrin also in Arabic; cf. Issa, p. 157, n. 10), and gol-e nasrin, which in Arabic is called ward ṣini “Chinese rose” (Issa, p. 157, no.2, gives jolnasrin and al-ward al-ṣini as Arabic equivalents of the dog rose). Some modern lexicographers, however, present nasrin as (a kind of) narcissus, e.g., Solaymān Ḥayyem (Haïm), Moḥammad Moʿin, and, following them, Gilbert Lazard (cf. also Schlimmer, p. 395, who equates it with Narcissus jonquilla, giving gol-e moški/ʿanbari as its synonyms).

  73. There’s an archive, up to April 2021, at lurkmore.me.

    ed.: See also https://archive.li/oJkAq

  74. I am quite familiar with the single letter abbreviation for “tablespoon,’ but I never use it myself. I wish I could say that was because of the conflict with the unit abbreviation “T” for tesla,* but it’s not. Being an American, I would include a period in the abbreviation “T.” for “tablespoon[s]”; moreover, I never measure magnetic fields in Tesla if I can help it, Gauss being much more reasonably sized.

    However, I wouldn’t have commented here just to blather about that abbreviation issue.** What I really wanted to add was that in addition to standard (“level”) and “heaping” tablespoons and teaspoons, there are also “scant” versions that are slightly below the standardizef volumes. I suspect scant measures are somewhat idiosyncratic. With a heaping teaspoon, the volume is determined by the angle of repose for a heap of whatever powdered ingredient you are measuring, but a scant teaspoon seems to be a judgement call. (In spite of the impressions many non-Americans seem to have, our recipe measurements are normally quite precise, except for the uncommon “scant” exception. I am rather surprised by the ignorance I sometimes encounter among other English speakers, even professional chefs, about the meaning of the units used in American recipes. The most common error is to claim that cups, tablespoons, teaspoons, etc. are not meant to refer to previse quantities, and America’s just eyeball them based on whatever beaker*** or spoon we have on hand.)

    * Although the abbreviation is majuscule, SI unit names, even those named after people, are theoretically not capitalized. People do capitalize the unit “Tesla” (and “Ohm,” “Hertz,” “Joule,” etc.) all the time though.

    ** At least, I wouldn’t have today. Maybe on another occasion I would have felt the potential tablespoon/tesla ambiguity really merited a fulsome commentary.

    **” Americans do not normally refer to straight-sided drinking vessels as “beakers.” That term is limited almost exclusively to laboratory environments, hence the evocativeness of the name “Beaker” for Dr. Bunsen Honeydew’s Muppet assistant.

  75. There’s an archive, up to April 2021, at lurkmore.me.


  76. You can get measuring spoons which purport to give you an exact tad, dash, pinch, smidgen, and drop. I imagine the declared measurements for them (respectively 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, and 1/64 of a teaspoon) were conjured by the measuring spoon manufacturing cabal* as a marketing move.

    * I wish I knew how to say it in German.

  77. The other archive (by a robot, unlike the .me one) is from Feb. 2022, the last pre-blackout one.

  78. Stu Clayton says

    … the measuring spoon manufacturing cabal* …
    * I wish I knew how to say it in German.

    Meßlöffelherstellerkartell is good enough, I think. You could call it a Kabale, but that reminds one more of Schiller. His word (TIL) still had the old qabbālāh connotation. [Like, who goes to see a Schiller play nowadays? And when you see one, do you understand it?]

    Kabale f. ‘Intrige, Komplott’, Übernahme (17. Jh.) von mfrz. frz. cabale in dessen neu entwickelter Bedeutung ‘heimlich abgesprochene Praktiken, Intrige’. Das frz. Substantiv ist entlehnt aus hebr. (rabbinisch) qabbālāh ‘Überlieferung, von den Älteren überkommene Geheimlehre’, dem es zunächst auch semantisch folgt; in diesem vorausgehenden Sinne gelangt der Ausdruck bereits im 16. Jh. ins Dt. (Fischart). Heute nur noch durch Schillers Dramentitel „Kabale und Liebe“ (1784) bekannt.

  79. jack morava says

    I vaguely recall posting here about the milliHelen: a unit of female pulchritude sufficient to launch one ship, but there seems to have been recent progress


    in the field. However I have not found a good estimate of the milliHelen in terms of Planck’s constant, which is a unit of action; the question seems to be how much action `launching one ship’ is intended to be. Does `launch’ include the carbon footprint required to create the ship in the first place?

    I’m sure there are Hatters to be heard on this question, I think we should be told.

  80. Stu Clayton says

    Does `launch’ include the carbon footprint required to create the ship in the first place?

    That would be an ecologically reponsible way to apply Planck’s constant. The constant itself is not sensitive to local policy decisions, I hope.

  81. @Noetica: I don’t recall seeing “dinner spoon” before, but I have seen “table knife” and “table fork” used for what I would have called a “dinner knife” and “dinner fork”, on which basis “dinner spoon” should be the same as “table spoon”. Do Australians distinguish “dinner spoon” (size = 3 teaspoons) from “table spoon” (size = 4 teaspoons)? The latter sounds like a species of serving spoon rather than part of an individual diner’s place setting.

  82. I’m not familiar with “dinner spoon” either.

  83. Trond Engen says

    If there’s a difference between tablespoons and dinnerspoons, I don’t know which equals a Norw. spiseskje (ss), which is what I translated. And I don’t think it matters much. As David M.’s Germans above I see measures in spoons as a licence to use discretion.

  84. David Marjanović says

    Oh. The German terms are Esslöffel and Teelöffel, the former used for soups and cereals, the latter for desserts and to stir tea or coffee. There’s nothing between them (…except smaller versions of the former – for children, though some adults prefer them, too). Occasionally you can find a positively tiny Kaffeelöffel or Mokkalöffel, but these are uncommon. Spoons for serving that are larger than the ones used for eating but aren’t dippers (Schöpflöffel) are also known but so rare I’m not aware of a name for them.

    The sizes and shapes are not standardized; I have some oddly narrow soup spoons.

  85. Trond Engen says

    Now that I think of it, I may actually have sern barneskje “children’s spoon” in a couple of recipes.

    We use children’s size pieces of cutlery a lot. Spoons for desserts is one thing, but it’s also fine for self-serving at e.g. a breakfast table, when regular size cutlery will be too big for the plates and jars. The spoons are used for jam and sour cream, the forks for sliced meat, herring and garnish, and the knives for butter and soft breadspreads.

    (Not that we serve a breakfast like that very often, but using a children’s spoon with guacamole or a children’s fork with sliced vegetables is an everyday affair.)

  86. Since my preceding comment I have studied commercial cutlery offerings online in Australia. Two major retailers make no use of dinner spoon, and much use of dessert spoon. I’ll follow that in my remarks here, though I’m sure that if I mentioned a dinner spoon in a typical restaurant or home here I would raise no eyebrow and be readily understood: it’s what’s also called a dessert spoon.


    Do Australians distinguish “dinner spoon” (size = 3 teaspoons) from “table spoon” (size = 4 teaspoons)?

    Except for a growing contingent of the youth (who may never have noticed or seen the large serving and utility spoon that we call a table spoon), they certainly do.

    A typical “complete” Ozlandish cutlery set (a full setting for 4, 6, 8, or 12) will include dessert spoons, tea spoons or less commonly soup spoons (or both; I note that soup spoons in this century are less circular and more like dessert spoons). Alarmingly, the traditional addition of a single table spoon (a serving spoon) is now rare. At Myer I find only one so-called table spoon, in loose cutlery; but it looks to me like a dessert spoon, an impression confirmed by its weird availability as a set of 12 table spoons. That’s definitely a terminological outlier, for Australia.

    Mollymooly and Hat:

    I don’t recall seeing “dinner spoon” before, but I have seen “table knife” and “table fork” used for what I would have called a “dinner knife” and “dinner fork”, on which basis “dinner spoon” should be the same as “table spoon”.

    I’m not familiar with “dinner spoon” either.

    That surprises me, because dinner spoon appears to be the standard term at at Walmart. For example, the inventory for this typical set:

    6 x Dinner Knives
    6 x Dinner Spoons
    6 x Dinner Forks
    6 x Salad Forks
    6 x Teaspoons

    A search on “table spoon” (with the quote marks) at the Walmart site supposedly gets 1000+ hits. The best-match hits identify the items as dinner spoons. Other hits are various, some using both dinner spoon and table spoon to identify the items, some showing ladles or sets of measuring spoons, and so on.

    Inventories of tableware on the Titanic include “5,000 dinner spoons”, “3,000 dessert spoons”, “400 asparagus tongs” … but no “table spoons”. Go figure.

    (Stu: we’ll use runcible chopsticks, OK? But I’ll bring asparagus tongs anyway.)

  87. In my preceding comment (awaiting moderation because of its many links) I spoke of cutlery on the Titanic. In fact the inventory that I link is for the Olympic, but it includes the remark that we could expect greater numbers for the Titanic.

    Nothing in that inventory resolves the most urgent question: How was one to tackle the roasted squab on wilted cress without instant consignment to pariah status? Never mind the deep.

  88. @DM I have some oddly narrow soup spoons.

    Are you sure those aren’t grapefruit spoons? (Is the pointy end sharp?)

    My parents got a set of six as a wedding gift (early 1950’s), which I’ve inherited. In a special presentation case; with a grapefruit knife (q v on wikip), the blade serrated and curved transversely. Never used AFAICT.

    Curiously missing from @Noetica’s inventory for the Olympic. And yet they run to oyster forks and grape scissors. If you can keep oysters/grapes fresh, surely you can provide grapefruit for breakfast!

  89. We had grapefruit knives (curved, serrated) when I was little. They served as a prop for pleasantries about eye operations, especially when I had one.

  90. >shiver<

    I had a cataract surgery last week. Glad that thought hadn’t crossed my mind.

  91. John Cowan says

    If there’s a difference between tablespoons and dinnerspoons, I don’t know which equals a Norw. spiseskje (ss), which is what I translated. And I don’t think it matters much.

    en.Wikt says a spiseskje is a dessert spoon when it’s a spoon and a tablespoon (15 ml) when it’s a measurement, and no.Wiki says 1 spiseskje (mål) = 15 kryddermål = 3 teskjeer = 1½ (1,5) barneskjeer = 1⁄10 kaffekopp =15⁄250 (0,06) tekopp.

  92. Trond Engen says

    @John C.: Thanks. I do know the definitions. A Tbsp. in an English language recipe is a ss in a Norwegian one. What I meant is that I don’t know the actual size of any of the spoons regularly used, and with the introduction of a distinction between “dinnerspoons” (= 3 teaspoons = 1 Tbsp.) and “tablespoons” (= 4 teaspoons ≠ 1 Tbsp.), and now Wiktionary’s implicit definition of “dessert spoon” in the same range, I realize that it’s not straightforward.

  93. January First-of-May says

    In Moscow (1990s/2000s), I grew up with чайная ложка (tea spoon) = 5 ml, столовая ложка (table spoon) = 15 ml. I vaguely knew of the existence of the intermediate десертная ложка “dessert spoon”, which I’ve read somewhere was equal to 10 ml, but I’m not sure I’ve ever had a spoon that I would have classified as this intermediate size.

    Actual large spoons varied, and actual small spoons often varied (proportionally) even more; weirdly enough, I don’t recall having ever tried to experimentally establish the factor – apparently I had always assumed that the 15 ml and 5 ml numbers must have been about right.

  94. Trond Engen says

    I have now conducted a scientific experiment controlled measurement!

    In the first preliminary experiment, it took exactly 2 teaspoons to fill a children’s spoon and between 2 and 3 to fill a tablespoon.

    In a more meticulous study, filling water up to a 1 dl line took:
    17 teaspoons
    Between 8 and 9 children’s spoons
    Almost 7 tablespoons

    This would mean:
    1 teaspoon = 6 ml
    1 children’s spoon = 12 ml
    1 table spoon = 15 ml

    Cutlery type IKEA DRAGON

  95. David Marjanović says

    Are you sure those aren’t grapefruit spoons? (Is the pointy end sharp?)

    No, I did mean “narrow”. The end is neither serrated nor pointy; the sides are much closer to parallel.

  96. Thanks Trond, but I for one am anxious for a comparison of the level capacities of the Akoak kiwi spoon and the Smylls equivalent. They look the same, but one can’t be too careful.

    In Australia the folk give penultimate stress to pergola and persimmon, leaving me squeamish about uttering either in public.


    … = heaped/heaping spoonful

    Here it’s only ever heaped. I note that Brett writes heaping. Another divide, in this troubled world?

  97. Damn! I meant: “and antepenultimate stress to persimmon“. The degradation of age strikes again.

  98. “Heaping” is the usual form in the US.

    In my experience, a lot of solids being measured in cooking are not free-flowing enough that the angle of repose is well defined, so heaping measurements are no more precise than scant ones. Even if the substance is free-flowing, the volume would depend on the shape of the spoon.

  99. Trond Engen says

    Me: 1 teaspoon = 6 ml […] Cutlery type IKEA DRAGON

    My daughter remarked that our famous dobbeltpeprede pepperkaker “double-spiced gingermen” are actually spiced by a factor of 2.4.

  100. Trond Engen says

    Comparing versions of Matt. 13 in the “Darnel” thread, I learned that Nynorsk uses klunger in verse 7 where Bokmål prefers tornebusker. I know this klunger as descriptive of thorny shrubs in general, but according to no.wp it’s also an alternative specific name for Steinnype (Rosa canina) “wild rose“. The bush rather than the flower or the fruit, I suppose.

  101. @Kate Bunting: “I wasn’t old enough to do that, but I remember being given spoonfuls of the syrup in the 1950s.”

    It lasted well into the 1980s in the USSR. I loved it but was not allowed more than a dessert-spoonful or two.

  102. Lars Mathiesen (he/him/his) says

    In Danish recipes there are spiseskefulde of 15ml and teskefulde of 5ml, and you’re supposed to have a set of measuring “spoons” with half-spherical receptacles on the end. (I think they usually come in a set with 1/2 and 1/4 tsp and maybe a 50ml and 100ml as well, but ours has gone AWOL). I think the accepted wording is teske med top and strøget teske for “heaped” and “level”. A proper peever will insist on strøgen teske, but that battle was lost 100 years ago.

    As to things people actually use for stirring or eating, it goes from kaffeske over teske then dessertske, spiseske, suppeske (12 ea, sterling) before you even get to the serving utensils where variety may be more important than numbers. The forks for cold cuts do NOT go in the pickled herring! Cue fish slices.

    (And what might you use a spiseske for? Porridge, of course, oat, rice or pease, fruit gels for dessert and fermented dairy products for breakfast. And maybe lobescowes and various stuffs of that texture, but a fork also serves. dinner spoon is a misnomer in a Danish context, the knife-and-fork paradigm is very strong at dinnertime except for actual soups).

    (And since you ask, there should be 12 ea of china coffee cups with their proper saucers and cake plates, and the same number of tea cups [about twice the volume] with t.p.s.a.c.p. Mugs? I heard they use those in the barn).

  103. David Marjanović says

    Cups are just as barbarous. Real Romans, like the French for instance, drink their breakfast coffee from a bowl to this day.

  104. John Cowan says

    This from a guy whose ancestors drank from skulls.

  105. Some of us drink our breakfast coffee from a skull to this day.

  106. Interesting. To me, it seems really strange that someone can’t see the difference. Roses are sold at flower stores and have long straight stems, шиповник is a common bush with thorny stems (hence the name). The image in the article captures its recognizable form:


    No one would want to rub against those while getting through (semi-)wilderness, and only the most fanciful would present its branches. People sometimes cut short stalks or single flowers for short-lived decorations, though.

    Of course, the distinction of those who cultivate intermediate forms and may be proud to have roses in the garden might be more complex. A glance at the existing classification —


    (which simply tells to look for natural variants in another article whose title you already know) — helps to formulate that the more rose resembles tea hybrid roses, the more “rosier” it is.

    Garden rose hybrids are not that old (in Europe), so I turned to contemporary books. This reference from 1826 puts “roses” in “foreign bushes and shrubs grown in greenhouses”, and “wild roses” in “local and foreign bushes and trees planted in English gardens”:


    (Well, now we might also need to study the differences between bushes, shrubs, arborescences, and trees in multiple languages.)

    As seen in descriptions of roses, it was still possible at that time for encyclopedic works to simply relay personal account of a top gardening nerd from Riga:


    Also, «роза чайная» (tea rose) is an old earworm:


    This video is a true fractal of suck: lazy debilitating pop song, lazy “singing” to playback, lazy unsynced video backdrop, lazy set construction work requiring precise punches for the door to rotate, lazy live editing that was left intact without any attempt to cut mishaps. Пипл хавает, as usual.

    One moment, please… I was sure that “fractal of suck” was a well known phrase (most people in my environment recognize it). Turns out, it’s pretty uncommon, even in Russian. Well then. A profound hit article from ten years ago was titled “Javascript: фрактал отсоса” (“Javascript: a fractal of suck”), and argued that Javascript followed the path of Perl, making the same mistakes. The name did stick.


    The title mimics another well known one, “PHP: a fractal of bad design”.


    It seems there is a single-digit number of appearances in English, and most of them are tied to a certain video review of a pocket knife. However, there is one that is definitely earlier than the article:


  107. David Marjanović says

    fractal of suck

    Ooh. I’ll have to adopt that immediately.

    BTW, visually this description fits, too: Rasputina looks like she’s trying to look like Ceca – already a bad idea – and failing…

  108. Пипл хавает: great phrase with a great origin. (N.b.: хавать “Происходит от цыганского выражения «мэ хава», т. е. «я ем».”)

  109. The video is 20 years old, and I must confess I haven’t followed Masha Rasputina at all for about the same amount of time. It was just a joke. No diving, please, the pool is too shallow.

    Kirkorov, on the other hand, always keeps being the most fabulous man of the Solar system in sight. Random link:


    Still can’t give any opinion about the rest of his activities.

  110. David Marjanović says

    Random link:

    That’s dedication.

  111. PlasticPaddy says

    From wikipedia: “At a pro-Viktor Yanukovych candidacy concert during the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election Kirkorov’s father, Bulgarian singer Bedros Kirkorov, mistakenly called on Ukrainians to vote for the opposing candidate Viktor Yushchenko – to wild cheers from the audience.”
    This reminds me of the story of the father of an Irishman serving in the British Army, whose image had been used on a famous WWI recruitment poster. The father was asked to say a few words at a recruitment dinner and made a speech to the effect that although all present knew how bad the English were, he believed the Germans to be even worse…

  112. it was still possible at that time for encyclopedic works to simply relay personal account of a top gardening nerd from Riga

    “Still possible”? The world is (sitll) full of encyclopedias, only one of which disdains articles written by expert authors.

  113. Editor of the book¹ chose to reprint gardener’s account of his roses as an article after a short praise for his work. My attempt at humor was comparing it to copying someone’s blog post. Nevertheless, Zigra really was the central authority on the topic for all Russian Empire at the time.

    ¹ Vasily Lyovshin, forgotten translator, writer, playwright, compiler of numerous practical guides, one of the earliest Russians who tried to (had to) win his bread working on commercial literature.

  114. My attempt at humor was comparing it to copying someone’s blog post.

    You got a chuckle out of me.

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