[Sca-cooks] wick-a-wack? (OOP)

Terry Decker t.d.decker at att.net
Fri Aug 13 10:45:58 PDT 2010

> On Aug 13, 2010, at 12:19 AM, Terry Decker wrote:
>> This source:
>> German-English dictionary of idioms By Hans Schemann, Paul Knight
>> (on google books) lists one of the meanings of wicken [gehen] to be
>> broken.  It might make sense here but also seems a stretch.
>> Katherine
>> "In die Wicken gehen,"  "to go into the vetch."  Colloquially, it means 
>> to become lost or come down in the world.  I suspect that Schemann and 
>> Knight meant "to go broke (lose one's wealth)" rather than "to be 
>> broken."  Of course the precise meaning of any idiom depends on the local 
>> usage.
> Isn't vetch, in that sense, a mixture of grains augmented with peas or 
> beans, which you might save as a last , or near-least, resort in a food 
> supply -- for example, the mixture March Beer is sometimes made from?
> Translating the phrase as "to be broken" might also refer to resorting to 
> that mixture of stuff after you're out of your main supply of grain, which 
> could be a link between the concept of heterogeneous mixes and having no 
> cash... scraping the bottom of the barrel, as it were...
> Adamantius (honest, sending this only once, no idea what happened last 
> time)

Interesting idea.  I don't think the mixture of grain and legumes is quite 
the right idea.  Vetchs (Wicke, Wickes, or Wicken) are low shrub-like plants 
of the pea family which include the members of genus Vicia (fava or broad 
beans) and often refer also to genus Vigna, all of which are used largely as 
animal fodder.  German is sensetive to eating by humans (essen) and eating 
by animals (fressen), so it would likely be sensitive to the respective 
foods eaten.   Basically the German idiom would mean you're down to the dog 
chow and therefore in a reversal of fortune.  So Wicke(n)wache might be used 
for a "poverty mix."  But that is still pure speculation on my part.


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