Year archive for 2005

Mad Werner’s at it again

Posted: December 31st 2005 18:53.

Looks like Mr Patel's political career is going to be a rerun of his life as a translator.

When Javans ruled Spain

Posted: December 30th 2005 01:28. Last modified: October 23rd 2012 11:22

The other day I serendipited upon a review in Bijdragen tot de taal-, land- en volkenkunde van Nederlandsch-Indië (1853) of Abraham Benjamin Cohen Stuart's translation of what sounds like an absolutely brilliant Javanese epic poem dealing with the life and loves of one Baron Sakendher, Geschiedenis van Baron Sakendher. Een Javaansch verhaal van vertaling, aanteekeningen […]

Oh, dear, what can the matter be

Posted: December 29th 2005 21:21. Last modified: December 29th 2005 21:38

Tearing myself away from the Catalan parliament debate on whether Superman is right-wing, news from Tarragona of Manoli Silva Martí, who died in a supermarket toilet and was not discovered for 57 hours. You all know the song, of course: Oh, dear, what can the matter be, Three old ladies locked in a lavatory, They […]


Posted: December 27th 2005 20:52. Last modified: December 28th 2005 10:05

I'm going to start including (front page, bottom right) "on this day" entries taking from Juan Cortada's 1848 compendium of "all the customs, good and bad, of the city", El libro verde de Barcelona: Añalejo de costumbres populares, fiestas religiosas y profanas, which I've been reading, along with the autobio of HN Schwarzkopf. Cortada is […]

Justice at Christmas

Posted: December 26th 2005 17:04. Last modified: December 26th 2005 18:18

Here's a cautionary tale from Alonso de Villegas' Fructus sanctorum y quinta parte del Flossanctorum (1594): Gauberto Fabricio of the Order of St Bernard writes that in 1386 [Peter/Pedro/Pere IV] of Aragon took away various possessions of the cathedral church of St Tecla in Tarragona. Although the clergy protested, they were unable to prevent the […]

Blogging costs nothing while love make your wallet as empty as a drum

Posted: December 26th 2005 00:38. Last modified: December 26th 2005 00:40

Christmad thought from Karim, which might bring to mind Leo Tolstoy or Norah Jones (or even Mark Twain--“The house was as empty as a beer closet in premises where painters have been at work"), but which is certainly all his own.

Mrs Chekhov’s testicles

Posted: December 24th 2005 23:09. Last modified: December 23rd 2005 16:54

From Xosé Castro's Spanish malapropism (burrada) site, Jehova's witnesses = testigos de Jehová -> testículos de Checová = Mrs Chekhov's testicles.

Anglicisms on the Canaries

Posted: December 23rd 2005 23:06. Last modified: December 23rd 2005 16:43

These (from Carlos Westendorp Plaza) are OK: Autodate - type of potatoes Queque - cake Quineguar/chineguar - King Edward potatoes (the d -> g swap is interesting; it reminds me of some Andalusian dialects in which you get b -> g (abuelo -> aguelo) etc And this is a killer: Cambuyonero - Someone who trades […]

Green / degreening

Posted: December 22nd 2005 20:12. Last modified: December 22nd 2005 20:30

Fernando Navarro suggests that both I and Joseph Townsend are wrong. The Spanish word for executioner, verdugo, he says, was applied originally to a rod cut green, verde, and used to administer beatings. If Townsend was wrong, then his confusion or that of his informer might have arisen if (a) executioners were clothed in, or […]

Silvester Paradox: hoaxer or mystificator?

Posted: December 21st 2005 14:46. Last modified: October 18th 2006 18:19

MJ suggests that "adventures, devices and hoaxes" is a better translation of "aventuras, inventos y mixtificaciones" than "adventures, inventions and mystifications." I think that's a bit hard on C19th Spain's greatest scientist ;o)

Islamic green used to stigmatise Spanish convict labour?

Posted: December 21st 2005 13:20. Last modified: December 21st 2005 13:40

Joseph Townsend, A Journey Through Spain in the Years 1786 and 1787 (1791): When we drew near to Barcelona, we had to cross a river [ie the Besòs], in which we counted fifty felons, clothed in green, and employed in clearing the channel, whilst sentinels stationed at convenient distances prevented their escape. It is curious […]

Christmas dinner in church

Posted: December 18th 2005 16:51.

I know where I should be grazing this Christmas, thanks to the Archbishop of York: We are so lucky in this country to have churches that are nearer our homes than most supermarkets. I encourage you to take advantage of that this Christmas. Unfortunately there's no way he can be referring to the Queen's churches, […]

Catalan landscapes

Posted: December 17th 2005 08:14.

Here are some lovely photos by Eduardo Mencos which I just found.

Beercelona 2

Posted: December 16th 2005 12:58. Last modified: July 16th 2008 09:21

Is a 5-a-side team in Cambridge. Real Madras is still around, but whatever happened to Orange Flavoured Bicycle Sheds?


Posted: December 16th 2005 12:14.

... is how it always seems to end up in Word. In the New Year normality will reassert itself in the shape of l'Estatut or, more probably, nothing.


Posted: December 16th 2005 08:55. Last modified: December 16th 2005 12:02

Louis Moritz (source (.doc)) was an Alsatian who settled in Barcelona in 1851 and, two years later, started working for a local brewer, Ernest Ganivet. In 1856 he started his own business, and in 1859 Luis Moritz y Compañía bought Joan Maurer's brewery at the Santa Madrona gate. In 1864 a new brewery was opened […]

Afghan national anthem

Posted: December 15th 2005 18:52. Last modified: December 15th 2005 18:57

Abdul Bari Jahani told IWPR, "This is in fact not a poem, but a list of tribes.” The old Yugoslav one worked on the same basis, with each republic having a section of its own anthem included, which is why it took hours to play at football matches.

La Vanguardia misreports S&P on the Estatut

Posted: December 15th 2005 16:42. Last modified: December 15th 2005 17:13

La Vanguardia really does struggle at times. Here's roughly what Juan de la Mota of S&P said yesterday: El consejero delegado de la entidad en España, Juan de la Mota, explicó hoy en rueda de prensa que, aunque todavía quedan muchos detalles por definir, la calidad crediticia de las autonomías debería salir beneficiada de estos […]

Chinese liberation music

Posted: December 15th 2005 14:09.

I am told that, during a recent Shanghai performance of The Messiah, the tenors got confused and lost during the chorus "Let us break our bonds asunder," presumably for fear they'd be despised and rejected thereafter.

WTF is Icum Spicome?

Posted: December 15th 2005 08:10. Last modified: December 14th 2005 23:02

I've a little bottle in my brisses pocket, which I call Icum Spicome, Spinto of Spain Which brings dead men to life again Here Jack take a sup out of my little bottle And let it run down thy throttle Arise and fight for ten thousand.


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