WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Yankey Doodle

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Yankey Doodle

Scottish poet Alexander Smith (1830-1867) wrote, “I would rather be remembered by a song than by a victory.” Although it didn’t start out that way, the colonists in America managed to be remembered by both.

History is full of songs of worship, work, entertainment, and satire. As opposition to British rule in Colonial America grew, so did the number of songs directly lampooning and insulting King George III. British soldiers promptly responded with songs satirizing Colonials as backward, ignorant bumpkins. Picture it as MTV’s Yo Momma, Georgian style.

One such British tune told the story of a ragamuffin Yankey simpleton, a “doodle.”

Yankey Doodle came to town,
For to buy a firelock,
We will tar and feather him,
And so we will John Hancock.

But what began as a derogatory song against – let us not forget – fellow English countrymen, was soon appropriated by its victims. Those upstart Colonials wrote their own verses that ridiculed the British, praised the Continental Army, and venerated its commander, one Captain George Washington. By the end of the war, the term “Yankey Doodle” had undergone a change in spelling, and from slander to boast. Some of the new lyrics:

Yankee Doodle went to town
A-riding on a pony,
Stuck a feather in his cap
And called it macaroni.

Father and I went down to camp,
Along with Captain Gooding,
And there we saw the men and boys
As thick as hasty pudding.

There was Captain Washington,
Upon a slapping stallion,
Giving orders to his men-
I guess there were a million.

Yankee Doodle keep it up,
Yankee Doodle dandy,
Mind the music and the step,
And with the girls be handy.

The Yankie Doodles Intrenchments Near Boston 1776. "Boston1775". Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Boston1775.jpg#/media/File:Boston1775.jpg

The Yankie Doodles Intrenchments Near Boston 1776, a cartoon from a loyalist Boston newspaper. “Boston 1775.” Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yankey Doodle (noun)

A booby, or country lout; a name given to the New England men in North America; general appellation for an American.  Also Yanke or Yankie; now Yankee.

The caricature of a rough, slovenly, and destitute Yankey Doodle has also been replaced for posterity. It seems that history, and its pictures, are the domain of the victors.

The Spirit of '76 (also popularly referred to as "Yankee Doodle") by A.M. Willard,

The Spirit of ’76 (also popularly referred to as “Yankee Doodle”) by A.M. Willard,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All definitions and/or examples taken from Online Etymological DictionaryCant: A Gentleman’s Guide, and/or 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue. Information on the origins and alterations of the song, “Yankee Doodle,” courtesy Billerica Colonial Minute Men.

Sweet on Wilde ~ new release by Fabiola Francisco

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Eight months ago, I made a deal with my best friend. This wasn’t your typical pact. No, we had to take a different route. The deal was that if we were still single by fall, we would join online dating. Yes…now I am that girl. Just me, though, because she met a guy and saved herself from the awkwardness of dating people you meet via the Internet.

Cheesy pick up lines.
Inappropriate messages.
Disaster dates.

I don’t want to be “Savannah, profile 8713,” but a pinky promise is a promise you keep. What I wasn’t counting on was meeting a guy at the local bar.

So what happens when you decide to open yourself up to new opportunities? You might just cross paths with someone who makes you believe in love. Parker Wilde brought out the best in me and understood the worst, but when an amazing opportunity presents itself and our lives take different directions, is being sweet on Wilde enough for us?

Sweet on Wilde

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The music blasting from the speakers draws me, and I move my body to the beat as I sit by the bar facing the dance floor. Although Southern is a more laid back bar, it has a small area designated for the patrons that want to dance without feeling like they’re disrupting the flow of the service.

“Let’s go dance.” Parker is eyeing me mischievously, obviously enjoying as I move to the music. The stress he came in with has now totally eased out of his body. He is back to his relaxed, confident self.

“It’s okay. I’m fine here, not much of a dancer,” I lie because the thought of dancing with him throws me off.

“Really? You haven’t stopped moving. Come on,” he reaches his hand out to me. Taking a moment to watch him as he stands before me with his hand out, I can appreciate how good-looking he is. I take his hand and let him lead me towards the small crowd dancing in the center of the venue.

“Sweet Home Alabama” begins to come through the speakers, and as soon as everyone hears the familiar introduction, they get in position, ready to dance the steps taught to us from a young age. In perfect unison, we all begin the line dance, looking like something out of Footloose. As I’m turning with the beat, I notice Parker beside me, following along without missing a step. I look down at his feet, and smile, shaking my head.

Two more songs come on, each with its own line dance to accompany the music, and we all dance. The next song that comes on is a slower one, so I head back to the bar in need of a cold beer to cool down. Line dancing always gets me excited but it can be tiring. Before I make it out of the crowd, an arm jerks me back and turns me. I’m facing Parker, his smile causing my heart rate to speed out of control. “One more,” he says, beginning the two-step to Billy Currington’s lyrics. Leading me around the dance floor, Parker is confident, his grip on me firm as we move through the other people dancing.

“You know, for someone who mocks my boots, yours look quite worn and broken in.”

He chuckles, his grip tightening around my waist. “I may not be from Tuscaloosa, but I am a southern boy, Savannah.” His drawl heavier, making his point.

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Fabiola Francisco is a contemporary romance author from Miami, FL. She has always enjoyed writing. When she was young she began writing creatively. It was always a therapeutic way for her to express herself. She began with poetry, and throughout the years went expanding to short narratives until she finally decided to write a novel.

Her love for books has inspired her to write her own stories. Her books range from emotional to lighthearted humor. She is a firm believer in happily ever afters and the sometimes jagged path to achieving it. She hopes to continue writing more stories to reach readers individually.

When she’s not writing, Fabiola loves expressing herself through art and being out in nature. She loves to cuddle with a good book and a glass of wine.

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WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Barking Irons

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Barking Irons

Research is so terribly entertaining.

A simple googling of “barking irons” in the hopes of turning up some interesting portraits or illustrations revealed a wholly unexpected result: it is not so obsolete as the Oxford English Dictionary would have one believe.  A likely too-hipster-for-me clothing store in the Bowery in NYC is called Barking Irons.  Hugh Laurie wears their t-shirts; that’s a sales pitch I can support.

But I digress.  We are here for vocabulary.

The Explanation by James Gillray, 1798. Pitt and Opposition MP George Tierney fought a duel in May 1798 after Pitt accused Tierney in the Commons of seeking to obstruct the defence of the country. When Tierney appealed to the Speaker, Pitt retorted that he would neither retract nor explain his words. Today, we might rather label this a "cat fight" and rename the pistols "mewling irons."

The Explanation by James Gillray, 1798. Pitt and Opposition MP George Tierney fought a duel in May 1798 after Pitt accused Tierney in the Commons of seeking to obstruct the defence of the country. When Tierney appealed to the Speaker, Pitt retorted that he would neither retract nor explain his words. Today, we might rather label this a “cat fight” and rename the pistols “mewling irons.”

Killing, No Murder: or a new ministerial way of settling the affairs of the nation!! by Isaac Robert Cruikshank, 1809 (satire of the duel between Castlereagh and Canning).

Killing, No Murder: or a new ministerial way of settling the affairs of the nation!! by Isaac Robert Cruikshank, 1809 (satire of the duel between Castlereagh and Canning, with one pistol barking considerably louder than the other).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barking Irons (noun)

Pistols; from their explosion resembling the bow-wow or barking of a dog; attributed as Irish.

The birds rose with a whirr; the little gun barked; the pointer dropped to his haunches; it was perfect work. From “Frank of Freedom Hill” by Samuel A. Derieux, 1922

In the coming third book in my Lords of Oxford Series, Earl Crazy, the grandmother and aunt of my hero are entertainingly eccentric, and each carry a Singing Bird Pistol at all times in their reticules.  Although these little jewels weren’t crafted until 1820, I fudged a bit on the timing because they so delightfully fit the personalities of the two grandes dames of my story.  Lord Aylesford’s grand-aunt is particularly proud of her “tiny, harmless, barking iron.”

The only pair of matching Singing Bird Pistols known to exist; attributed to Frères Rochat, ca. 1820.

The only pair of matching Singing Bird Pistols known to exist; attributed to Frères Rochat, ca. 1820.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All definitions and/or examples taken from Online Etymological DictionaryCant: A Gentleman’s Guide, and/or 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.

Adaptations and Accuracy: Literary Favorites from Page to Screen

Renée Reynolds:

During my 9th grade year, I was assigned to read and report on Pride and Prejudice over Christmas break. I procrastinated until the final weekend of the holiday, and frantically ran to the city library. While checking out the book, the kindly librarian asked if I’d ever seen the 1940 Laurence Olivier/Greer Garson adaptation of the novel. Thinking I had just scored an easy way out of my assignment, I grabbed the movie as well. One trip home, a bowl of popcorn, and ninety minutes later, I was writing my report.

The next morning, I felt guilty for not following the assignment (yes, I was one of *those* students). I determined I could at least start reading the book so I wouldn’t feel like such a cheater. A mere five chapters in and I knew I’d made a bigger error than not reading the book: I’d picked a movie that was basically nothing like the novel upon which it was supposedly based, save for its title and character names.

I read hurriedly and not altogether carefully, but soaked up enough information to write a bare-bones essay. Two lessons were learned that Christmas break: don’t procrastinate, and don’t trust a movie.

Ironically, I’ve kept a date with Jane every Christmas since. It’s my annual holiday treat to myself to read through Pride and Prejudice, then watch the 1995 adaptation. I chase this with the 2005 adaptation because I could listen to Matthew Macfadyen recite the ingredients on a cereal box.

Oh – there’s one more thing I learned to do. It’s pretty unconventional and probably considered blasphemous: I sometimes read books *after* I see their movie. For some reason, I can appreciate the well-made movies that aren’t not completely faithful to canon as long as I don’t know the canon going in. This plan has allowed me to enjoy North and South, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and The Hobbit. If, however, I read the book first and then try to sit through a less-than-accurate adaptation…well…it’s nothing but a big bowl of disappointment. I’m talking to you, The Scarlet Letter (1995), The Great Gatsby (2013), and Water for Elephants.

Read on and weigh in with your opinion on Mimi Matthews terrific post about accuracy and adaptations…

Originally posted on Mimi Matthews:

“If, however, your feelings have changed, I will have to tell you, you have bewitched me body and soul, and I love…I love….I love you.”

(Pride and Prejudice, 2005.)

 Photograph: Focus Features.Keira Knightly and Matthew Macfadyen as Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, 2005.
Photograph: Focus Features.

If you are a serious, literary-minded Jane Austen fan, it may raise your blood pressure a bit to learn that there are many people who believe the above quote was actually said by Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice.  Similarly, there are those who are convinced that the famous scene where Darcy leaps into the lake at Pemberley is an accurate depiction of something that Austen wrote on the page.  In fact, as most of you reading this will know, the above lines are said by actor Matthew Macfadyen in the 2005 movie version of Pride and Prejudice and the scene with Darcy…

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Regency Romance Turns 80

Regency Romance Turns 80

 

Regency Turns 80 ~ Celebrate with The Beau Monde

Regency Turns 80 ~ Celebrate with The Beau Monde

It’s hard to believe it, but Regency Romance is 80 years young in 2015!

The Regency itself was only nine years in length, from 1811-1820, spanning the time period when the Prince of Wales ruled in place of his incapacitated father, King George III.  The term Regency Era has come to mean a much broader time, however, covering the years 1795 (when King George III had his first “spell”) to as late as 1837 (the end of the reign of King William IV).

Regardless of whether you’re a strict constructionist or a “there can never be too many years defining the Regency” person, the impact of the period is undeniable.  An era so rich with changes in architecture, industry, economics, society, the arts, culture, fashion, and politics was destined to be an object of fascination.  Regency romances bring this time period to life!

The Beau Monde, the chapter of the Romance Writers of America that specializes in the Regency, is celebrating this eightieth anniversary by hosting a year-long commemoration of the woman who started it all: Georgette Heyer.  She wrote the first such romance, Regency Buck, way back in 1935, and a new genre was born.

Please join us in our celebration, and stop by The Beau Monde blog to share your comments, discover new authors, and reminisce with other devotees of the genre.  I will update the links at the bottom of this post as each new article is published.

Regency Romance Turns 80 Posts:

The Beau Monde Celebrates the 80th Anniversary of Regency Romance

 

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Waterloo

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Waterloo

George+Jones-Napoleon+Leaving+The+Field+Of+Waterloo-june 18 1815

Napoleon Leaving the Field of Waterloo 18 June 1815 by George Jones

This Thursday marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, the decisive end of the sovereignty of Napoleon Bonaparte.  I thought it would be interesting to examine the slang terms that arose from, or gave reference to, this famous battle.

 

Old Blücher Beating the Corsican Big Drum, George Cruikshank, 1814

Old Blücher Beating the Corsican Big Drum, George Cruikshank, 1814

Blücher (noun)
A non-privileged cab allowed in railway stations after the privileged cabs were all hired, late 19th century; named for the Prussian Field-Marshal Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher who arrived at Waterloo after the pitched battle and finished up whatever work remained (from A Dictionary of Slang and Colloquial English by John S. Farmer 1905).

 

Midas, Transmuting All Into Paper, James Gillray, 1797

Midas, Transmuting All Into Paper, James Gillray, 1797

 

 

Golden Cavalry of St. George
Monies paid to to continental heads of state by George III and the Prince Regent to bribe persuade them to stay with the allied cause against Napoleon; some historians think the gold was paid to keep other countries from joining Napoleon to fight the British (from Napoleonic Wars).

 

 

 

The Head of a Great Nation in a Queer Situation, George Cruikshank, 1813

The Head of a Great Nation in a Queer Situation, George Cruikshank, 1813

 

Meet One’s Waterloo
One who suffers a major (sometimes unexpected) defeat after having previously achieved victories.  The phrase alludes to Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo, Belgium, in 1815.  By the mid-1800s, it was adapted to mean other kinds of defeat (from Dictionary.com).

 

 

Celebrations (satirical) at the Congress of Vienna, 1815

Celebrations (satirical) at the Congress of Vienna, 1815

Prussian (Prooshun) Blue

A great term of endearment.  This was a pun on the color that capitalized on the huge popularity of the Prussians with British citizens after Waterloo (from A Dictionary of Slang and Colloquial English by John S. Farmer 1905 ).  Toasts were often offered up to “The True Blue” and the “Prussian Blue.”  Dickens included the endearment in his novel The Pickwick Papers in 1837 (Oxford Index).

 

The Duke of Wellington at the End of the Battle of Waterloo, Robert Hillingford

The Duke of Wellington at the End of the Battle of Waterloo, Robert Hillingford

Tommy
A British soldier; of disputed origin. Popular opinion holds the nickname was created by the Duke of Wellington after the Battle of Boxtel in 1794 (the Flanders campaign). After the fighting ended, the Duke saw wounded Private Thomas Atkins, who reportedly said, “It’s all right, sir.  It’s all in a day’s work.” However, the Imperial War Museum documents Wellington using the the name “Tommy” much later, in an 1843 praise of soldiers. Consultation of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), reveals yet another origin: the War Office chose the sobriquet in 1815, immediately following Waterloo, as documented in the Collection of Orders, Regulations, etc. published 31 August 1815. Further clouding the issue, several writers are credited with originating the nickname; the most famous is Rudyard Kipling’s stirring defense of soldiers and their treatment in “Tommy,” a poem included in his Barrack-Room Ballads in 1892. By WWI, the term was used universally, although rarely by British troops themselves, unless derisively (from Whizz Bangs and Windups: Ten Tommy Slang Terms).

 

A New Way to Pay the National Debt,  James Gillray, 1785

A New Way to Pay the National Debt, James Gillray, 1785

 

 

Waterloo Day
Payday; after the Crimean War battles in 1854, also Balaclava Day (from A Dictionary of Slang and Colloquial English by John S. Farmer 1905).

 

 

 

The Tyrant Overtaken by Justice is Excluded From the World, George Cruikshank, 1814

The Tyrant Overtaken by Justice is Excluded From the World, George Cruikshank, 1814

 

Waterloo Stew
The unpalatable consequences of choices that turn out to be wrong; Napoleon was left suffering the consequences of his own actions after Waterloo (from The Ultimate Cockney Geezer’s Guide to Rhyming Slang).

 

 

The Blessings of Peace; the Curse of the Corn Law, George Cruikshank, 1815

The Blessings of Peace; the Curse of the Corn Law, George Cruikshank, 1815

 

Waterloo Porridge
A thin broth of gruel made with more water than oats.  It is mentioned in the folk song, The Oldham Weaver (also known as The Hand-Loom Weaver and The Poor Cotton Weaver), which told the story of the son of a naive hero by the name of Jone o’Grinfilt Junior, and the hard times encountered by hand-loom weavers when steam-driven looms came into use and forced workers into mills.  The song began circulating after 1815, and is still sung today under the name The Four-Loom Weaver. Whether Waterloo Porridge is a reference to food eaten by soldiers or merely anecdotal, the likeliest explanation is that the gruel is not named for the battle location but for the watery consistency of the porridge, as times were difficult with cotton famine and war-time trade embargoes (from The English Dialect Dictionary by Joseph Wright, 1905).

 

An Open Letter to White, Straight, Able-bodied Romance Authors

An Open Letter to White, Straight, Able-bodied Romance Authors

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My esteemed colleagues,

We have a very long way to go.

Most of us say “Diversity in literature is really important,” and/or “I am not racist/ ableist/homophobic,” and/or “Of course, I would buy a romance novel by or about a person of color/gay or lesbian/disabled person.” But when was the last time you did?

When was the last time you bought a romance by an author, or about a character, with a different cultural, historical, or physical experience than your own? About a person with a different skin color, nationality, religion? About a gay man or lesbian or transgender person? When was the last time you bought a romance with a physically or mentally disadvantaged hero or heroine? A novel about people who live in the margins?

When was the last time you wrote one?

Women are overlooked in myriad areas of publishing—book contracts, sales, awards, reviews—but we are also the much greater portion of romance writers. Are we, as female authors who are often marginalized and maligned ourselves, really so callous as to assume people of color don’t have Happy Ever Afters? That LGBT romance is only about sex? That people with disabilities never fall in love? Or do we just not think about it?

This letter is not meant to encourage you to shoehorn a diverse character into a book that doesn’t need one, or write a book about diverse characters because it is a hot topic or because it feels like the right thing to do. One of the most wonderful things I have heard on this subject recently was: “I write characters who happen to be people of color. I don’t make a big deal about it.”

What I am proposing is that we don’t overlook characters with diverse experiences as we are writing. That we don’t miss them lurking in the shadows of our books. That we don’t push them aside because we don’t understand them. That we don’t dismiss a great idea because it is scary to be outside of our comfort zone, or because we are afraid to get something wrong.

But MOST IMPORTANT, I am proposing that we don’t overlook authors who are already doing it.

I am not saying a black person can’t write a book or have it published. I am not saying same-sex romance novels don’t exist. I am not saying a romance novel with an Indian heroine can’t become a bestseller (knock on wood). But these novels are shunted aside into the “African-American” or “Multicultural” or “LGBT” categories, which do not get as much attention as “Historical Romance” or “Regency Romance” or “Contemporary Romance,” overwhelmingly written by and about white people. And the more marginalized a book is on Amazon (and elsewhere), the less likely it is to be shown in the “People Also Buy” and “Recommended for You” sections. Front page of Amazon? Forget it.

I am not blaming or attacking, though to be sure, this topic almost always makes comfortable people suddenly uncomfortable. Yet, I think it worth the discomfort to have the conversation. This is a terribly important topic with enormous ramifications for groups that are already sidelined in so many ways. Are we okay with knowing that Vanessa Riley, Piper Huguley, Kianna Alexander, and Lena Hart have a harder time selling books than we do?

Do we, as romance writers, want to create one more place where it is harder to get ahead for a person of color than a white person?

  • I am guilty of overlooking diverse books, not out of malice, but simple inattention. I haven’t gone looking for them, because they are often hard to find.
  • I am guilty of assuming only white people read (and write) romance novels.
  • I am guilty of mentally labeling every historical with African-American characters “mainstream,” as though “romance” can’t be just as much a part of their experience as the historic hardships they faced.
  • I am guilty of using the hashtag #WeNeedDiverseRomance to promote my book before I knew the people who are doing the hard work to promote the subject matter.
  • I am guilty of asking my author friends who are people of color to educate me, rather than educating myself.
  • I will surely be guilty of causing unintentional offense, having now written a book with an Indian heroine.

So, to amend my own appalling oversights, I went looking for romance authors who are people of color or LGBT-identified or disabled and/or write romance novels about characters who are. In about an hour, I found more than sixty, and I am absolutely certain this is only a start.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also found:

We Need Diverse Romance

https://www.facebook.com/DiverseBooks

@DiverseRomance

#WeNeedDiverseRomance

Buy a “WeNeedDiverseRomance” tee-shirt in black or white.

 

Women of Color in Romance

http://wocinromance.tumblr.com/%20

https://www.facebook.com/WOCInRomance

@WOCinRomance

#WOCinRomance

http://multiculturalromancewriters.com (Sortable author/book listings)

http://RomanceNovelsInColor.com (Book information and reviews)

http://www.RomanceSlamJam.org (African-American romance convention; home of the Emma Awards)

http://www.RainbowRomanceWriters.com (RWA Chapter for LGBT authors)

Romances with heroes or heroines with physical, mental, or emotional maladies

 

If you click on any of the links above, you may find a new romance author you will love or a way to support the cause of diverse romance. I did.

So, in closing, I ask every white, straight, able-bodied author who is reading this to:

  • Buy a book written by someone with a different historical, cultural, or physical experience than you.
  • Review a book written by someone with a different historical, cultural, or physical experience than you.
  • Recommend a book written by someone with a different historical, cultural, or physical experience than you.
  • Write a character with a different historical, cultural, or physical experience than you.

Saying and/or doing nothing on this topic is a vote against diverse authors and characters, when most of us believe that diversity in romance novels is important and there isn’t enough of it.

Where do you truly fall on this issue? What message do you want to send to other writers—and readers—who are different from you? How important is diversity to you? And what will you do about it today?

 

Sincerely,

Mariana Gabrielle/Mari ChristieMarianaGabrielle

[White] Author of Regency romance

www.MarianaGabrielle.com

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Full permission is granted, without limitation, to repost, reblog, share, and otherwise distribute this material in its entirety.