[Sca-cooks] Parliament Cakes
grm at andrew.cmu.edu
Wed Jan 24 09:41:37 PST 2007
--On Wednesday, January 24, 2007 12:30 PM -0500 Johnna Holloway
<johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu> wrote:
> If Devra can send me the original query, I'll run it and see what I can
> I came across that N&Q reference earlier, but haven't gone into it
> further yet.
> Mason and Brown list them in Traditional Foods of Britain. Also here
> where they are again
> associated with Scotland.
> *parlies* Scottish; ginger cakes, believed to be so named because they
> were eaten by members of the Scottish parliament.
> "parlies" /A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition/. David A. Bender. Oxford
> University Press, 2005.
The Dictionary of the Scots Language (a really neat resource for those into
Scots (especially Middle Scots) and Scotland) says the term is an import
DSL - SND1 PARLIE, n. Also parl(e)y, parli (Per. 1911 A. D. Stewart
Heather and Peat 183); paurley, pawr-. A shortened form of Eng.
parliament(-cake), a crisp, rectangular, gingerbread biscuit (Sc. 1825
Jam.). Gen. (exc. I.) Sc., obsol.; also parley-cake, -snap, id. Comb.
parley-bing, a heap of parlies, a stall at a fair, etc. selling parliament
*Ags. 1834 A. Smart Rambling Rhymes 86:
Sweeties or parley-cakes to crump at.
*Fif. 1873 J. Wood Ceres Races 9:
Queer, wizard-looking, Irish Sowlies, Wiparley-bings and
*Lnk. 1880 Clydesdale Readings 189:
An abundant supply o solids in the shape o. . . cocket hats, cheese
*Ags. 1896 Barrie Sentimental Tommy xxvii.:
They have tried many ways of drawing Grizel, from heckle biscuits and
parlies, to a slap in the face.
*Lnl. 1910 J. White Eppie Gray 5:
He kept his parlies up the lum, Crumpie an short an sweet tae taste.
*Abd. 1929 K. E. Trail Reminisc. (1952) 124:
Flat ginger biscuits called parlies.
*Sc. 1950 A. R. Daniel Bakers Dict. s.v.:
Parleys. . . . At one time it was the custom of Scottish bakers to give
these cakes to children who came into their shops to purchase bread.
*wm.Sc. 1957 Peoples Friend (19 Jan.):
A good supply of parleys, oblong biscuits about six inches by four,
gingery and with scalloped edges.
(Dictionary of the Scots Language, <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/>)
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