Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Barley-Child




Illustration Hordeum vulgare0B.jpgAs I get older (which I keep, for some reason, doing), I find that I'm the only one of my friends not furiously procreating and getting married. Sometimes, (and you may be shocked to hear this) they even do it in that order.

There is therefore much demand in our modern and sinful world, for the old Shropshire dialect term barley-child. A barley-child is a baby born within six months of the wedding. This seems to be because your average farmer plants barley and reaps it six months later.

Anyway, barley-child is a useful term in these fallen times, and so I've been using it. Sternly.

It also shows that, though we of the modern world may be going to hell on a sex-crazed handcart, Shropshire has always been bad.



Shropshire within England
A heat-map showing fornication in the UK

P.S. Barley-child first pops up in Shropshire Word-Book, a Glossary of Archaic and Provincial Words Etc (1879). It's a cracking read.

P.P.S. Only one week until A Short History of Drunkenness is published in the U.S. of A.

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