Vocabulary Rocks! D is for…

Vocabulary Rocks! D is for…

      Doughnut The term doughnut is first attested to 1809 in Washington Irving’s Knickerbocker’s History of New York. But Irving does not refer to the toroidal confection that we know today. Instead, what he describes are small balls of fried dough, what we would today call doughnut holes: An enormous dish of balls of sweetened… Continue Reading

Vocabulary Rocks! Eponyms

Vocabulary Rocks! Eponyms

A true eponym is an ordinary common noun derived from the name of a person or place. The important, defining property is that the word does not refer exclusively to the person or place named by the proper noun, as does Marxism or Christian, but is used to refer to a general category. Even if you don’t… Continue Reading

Regency fashion for children? Skeleton Suits!

Regency fashion for children? Skeleton Suits!

The history of clothing for European infants and children is relatively unremarkable until the last decades of the 18th century. From birth to nearly two years of age, infants (male and female) were swaddled tightly (a philosophy that, thankfully, waned in the 17th century until obsolete by the late 1700s). At that point both sexes were… Continue Reading

BIG, colorful hats! Derby fashion parade.

BIG, colorful hats! Derby fashion parade.

Colonel Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr., the founder of the Kentucky Derby — click to read my post on Austen Authors for more on thoroughbred horse racing — modeled the race after European-style racing events like the Royal Ascot and Derby at Epsom Downs. In the past, and still to this day, the English races mandated formal… Continue Reading