Saturday 4 September 2010

Jedward Jedwood Justice

I am reliably informed that there is a boy-band called Jedward. There is also an old practice called Jedwood justice which means, according to Brewers: "Putting someone to death and trying them afterwards."

It derives from the border town of Jedburgh where they used to do this rather a lot. I feel that Jedward and Jedwood justice, though etymologically unrelated, could usefully be brought together.

Incidentally, Jedburgh is terribly important in the history of geology and therefore in the history of history. It was by studying the rock formations nearby that James Hutton worked out his idea of geological time. Geological time stretched the earth beyond the petty grasp of human history or human understanding. In geological time, as Hutton put it:

We find no vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end.

Which is a lovely example of antithesis.

Hutton contemplating Jedwood for Jedward


  1. When they were on X Factor, people starting calling them 'Deadwood'. If you watched them or listened to them, it wasn't difficult to see why.

  2. I have followed the career of Jedward with great interest, but I am only learning of this phrase today. It's quite apt because many people prejudge them and send them hate only to find that they are good lads when they meet them. They are most definitely "hanged in haste, tried at leisure".