Think I'm done with "collections" yet? Think again.
Anyone who's dealt with leftovers knows that cookery is often the art of combining whatever's available. (For example, we've seen mulligan stew – a stew made with whatever's available.) This week we'll look at creations from the kitchen whose names have come to mean, more generally, a diverse collection. Bonus points to anyone who can spot how the Latin in our the theme title applies to the kitchen!
smorgasbord – 1. a buffet meal featuring a variety of dishes. 2. a varied collection
[Swedish smörgås bread with butter (smör butter); open sandwich + bord table. Note: The word implies (though the dictionaries fail to note this) a varied collection from which one can select.]
Our last illustrative quote concerned female sexual fantasies. Here's another one.
– Sherrilyn Kenyon, Unleash the Night
Two words today that relate to food for animals, not for people.
farrago – a confused mixture [Latin farrago mix of grains for animal feed, from far corn]
Wordcrafter note: farrago seems to mostly used not just for any mixture, but specifically for a jumble of arguments that is seemingly sensible but in fact "elaborate nonsense".
– C.S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life
"Sir," I replied, turning to him, "what your motive can be in reciting to me with a serious face this remarkable farrago, I am utterly unable to guess, but you are surely yourself too intelligent to suppose that anybody but an imbecile could be deceived by it. Spare me any more of this elaborate nonsense …"
– Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward
[reduplication of Yiddish mishn to mix, or of English mash – 1. mixed ground grain fed to livestock and fowl 2. a soft pulpy mixture or mass]
– Emma Mclaughlin and Nicola Kraus, The Nanny Diaries
Crossword-puzzle writers find this four-letter word useful!
olio – 1. a highly seasoned stew of meat, vegetables, and chickpeas 2. a miscellaneous mixture
[With the same two meanings is olla-podrida, from Spanish; literally rotten pot.]
– William Congreve, The Way of the World (Lady Wishfort speaking) in The Oxford Anthology of English Literature
"There are several options for the evening," he said. "I called Chick Jacoby, and we can get a table at Clarence's. Or we can go around the corner and see the new Woody Allen movie. Or we can go to the Martin Lesky's who are having a party with a lot of movie stars."
. . ."A veritable olio," she replied.
– Dominick Dunne People Like Us
A sporting diversion and Spanish pun:
"Olla-podrida" brings to mind Roberto Duran, originally nicknamed "manos (de la) piedra," hands of stone.
After his "no mas" fight against Sugar Ray Leonard, disgruntled fans called him "manos podrida."
Recall that yesterday we saw olla-podrida, which literally is Spanish for rotten pot.
The French borrowed this term, changing it to their words for "rotten" and pot" (Such a change is called a loan translation. French for "to rot" is pourrir, the same root as in putrescent.) and from French the changed word passed into English. It originally meant "different kinds of meat cooked together in a stew," but new meanings evolved, as the originally meaning became extinct.
potpourri – 1. a combination of incongruous things 2. a miscellaneous anthology or collection (as of stories or music) 3. mixed of dried flower petals and spices used to scent the air
– Richard P. Feynman and Ralph Leighton, Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! (Adventures of a Curious Character)
Their mission statements become a potpourri of platitudes …
– Stephen R. Covey, A. Roger Merrill, and Rebecca R. Merrill, First Things First: To Live, to Love, to Learn, to Leave a Legacy
salmagundi – 1. a miscellaneous collection or mixture 2. [original sense:] a dish of chopped meat, anchovies, eggs, onions with oil and condiments
– U.S. Dist. Court of Delaware, Moore Corp. v Wallace Computer Services, Dec. 4, 1995, as quoted in Keith M. Moore, Risk Arbitrage: An Investor's Guide
[from Old French hochepot stew, soup (hocher to shake + pot pot)]
A quote from today’s paper: