[Sca-cooks] mysterious query
Huette von Ahrens
ahrenshav at yahoo.com
Wed Jan 24 07:56:30 PST 2007
--- Devra at aol.com wrote:
> Dear Folks, sorry. I was trying to forward a query from Ruth Berman about
> the age or historicity or earliest date of the word 'parliament' as a sweet, and
> managed to loose the original message from her, as well as send you an empty
> forward. *sigh* She was talking about the word showing up in the novel
> 'Lorna Doone' and also in Conan Doyle. Something about a kid buying 'parliament
> and dumps' for his friends. (And now I've lost the printed copy too. just
> not my day.)
8. Short for parliament cake, sense 9. Now rare (in later use hist.).
1812 H. SMITH & J. SMITH Rejected Addr. 52 Crisp parliament with lollypops, And fingers of
the Lady. 1828 D. M. MOIR Life Mansie Wauch iii. 30 As for the ginger-bread, I shall not
attempt a description... Roundabouts, and snaps,..and parliaments. 1848 THACKERAY Vanity
Fair xxxviii. 343 Gorging the boy with apples and parliament. 1881 Proc. Geogr. Soc. 3 515
They [sc. the walls] look exactly as if they were made of the sort of gingerbread called
parliament. 1905 Daily Chron. 31 Aug. 4/7 Our correspondent who wondered as to the precise
nature of the parliament consumed by Thackeray's Georgy Osborne may be interested to learn
that it was a species of gingerbread, sold in small, thin, hard cakes.
Also: n. parliament cake, a thin flat type of gingerbread.
As for "dumps":
f. A globular sweetmeat, a bull's-eye.
f. 1869 BLACKMORE Lorna D. ii. 5 Some of us..having sucked much parliament and dumps at my
only charges. 1894 Perlycross 2 The big Tom Waldron supplied the little Phil Penniloe with
dumps and penny-puddings.
So, I would say that Blackmore's use of "parliament" as the name of a kind of gingerbread
cookie was very anachronistic, since 'Lorna Doone' was set two hundred years earlier.
My thoughts are whirled like a potter's wheel; King Henry VI, part I: I, v
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