Friday, January 14, 2011

Postscript on preserves

The OED entry for 'marmalade' is unexpectedly poetic. (That link will only work if you are a Columbia affiliate.) The original marmalade: "a preserve consisting of a sweet, solid, quince jelly resembling chare de quince (see chare n.4) but with the spices replaced by flavourings of rose water and musk or ambergris, and cut into squares for eating"; and the figurative uses are lovely:
1592 G. Harvey New Let. in Wks. (1884) I. 280 Euery Periode of her stile carrieth marmalad and sucket in the mouth.

1607 T. Walkington Optick Glasse 53 The marmalade and sucket of the Muses.
And, on a different note:
1949 J. Steinbeck Russ. Jrnl. 179 A passage of clarinet marmalade played in unmistakable Benny Goodman style.
Bonus links: Orlando (The Marmalade Cat); and this post on The Frisky Housewife, which was the only one of the books we had, very much gives the flavor of it!

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps worth mentioning that there's apparently a free OED trial: here

    I can't vouch for the accuracy of this information as I'm always connected through UIUC.