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Re: [RC] Trivia - Katrina Mosshammer

LOL, I never knew this.

Katrina Mosshammer (AERC # 5763)

Pumpernickel

The Philologist Johann Christoph Adelung states about the Germanic origin of the word, in the vernacular, Pumpen was a New High German synonym for being flatulent, a word similar in meaning to the English "fart", and "Nickel" was a form of the name Nicholas, an appellation commonly associated with a goblin or devil (e.g., "Old Nick", a familiar name for Satan), or more generally for a malevolent spirit or demon. Cf. also the metal nickel, probably named for a demon that would "change" or contaminate valuable copper with this strange metal that was much harder to work. Hence, pumpernickel is described as the "devil's fart", a definition accepted by the Stopes International Language Database,[2] the publisher Random House,[3] and by some English language dictionaries, including the Merrian-Webster Dictionary.[4] The American Heritage Dictionary adds "so named from being hard to digest."

The Oxford English Dictionary, however, does not commit to any particular etymology for the word. It suggests it may mean a lout or booby, but also says, "origin uncertain". The OED currently states the first use in English is from 1756. However, there is an earlier use. An 8 page drinking song titled "Beef and Butt Beer, against Mum and Pumpernickel" was published in London in 1743.[5]

There is, as well, an often quoted story of how Napoleon while invading Germany was brought dark German rye bread for dinner. He declared that he wouldn't eat it and said instead: "C'est pain pour Nicole!". In other words, it wasn't for him but for his horse, Nicole. "Pain pour Nicole" over time became Pumpernickel. However, according to The Straight Dope, the Napoleon story is an example of folk etymology.[6]


-------------------------------------------------- From: "Bruce Weary" <bweary@xxxxxxxxxxxx> Sent: Wednesday, February 11, 2009 3:16 PM To: <ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> Subject: [RC] Trivia

The correct answer is, yes, it discouraged the horses who had learned to climb stairs.

It's also why the firemen kept the beer and TV upstairs. The horses would otherwise get a little too rowdy and watch the Mr. Ed marathon 'til all hours of the night. Dr Q


Next trivia question: What are two interpretations of how "pumpernickel" bread was named, one of which is related to horses?


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Replies
[RC] Trivia, Bruce Weary