[Loch-Ruadh] word of the Day, April 16

Cait O'Hara lady_cait at lycos.com
Wed Apr 17 18:33:23 PDT 2002


A wanderer.  A term of contempt for a man, often used without contempt; [from] spailpin, a worthless fellow, a migratory labourer.
-- Michael Traynor’s The English Dialect of Donegal, 1953

Spalpeen, in Irish, is a scythe, and peen a penny, that is, a mower for a penny a day.
-- Arthur Young’s Tour of Ireland, 1780

Feast Day of St. Benedict Labre, an eighteenth-century itinerant beggar whose lifestyle led to his becoming apatron of vagabonds.  In medieval times, many European communities subscribed to the notion that they had a moral obligation to assist wayfarers.  Evidently, there were many who abused such hospitality, seeing that their vagacion (the “occupation’ of a tramp) could be practiced indefinitely.  Although over time popular sentiment turned against them, these resourceful men and women continued sleeping un unlocked barns and gathering meals form orchard, field, and coop.  Parliament enacted a number of unsuccessful laws to discourage unlimited freeloading, including the Act for the Punishment of Vagabonds of 1572.

Never meddle in the affairs of dragons;
For you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.
-- Acacia

See Dave Matthews Band live or win a signed guitar

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