? Girls Aloud: Untouchable | Main | Inflation and the Fall of the Roman Empire ?

August 25, 2009


A 3000-year old barrel of butter is an interesting find (still spreadible if not edible) and it is fascinating to me the thing could still attract cows after all that time. But I draw the discovery to your attention not for its own sake but for the following passage.

It is thought that the butter was put in the bog for practical reasons, rather than ritual.

"There are accounts dating back to the 1850's with people used to wash their cattle once a year in the bog and then put some butter back into the bog. It was piseogary," Mr. Clancy explained, adding that the butter was usually "stolen by the following week!

Now try googling "piseogary". Most returns - save the following - lead back to this passage. As it happens, a pishogue is a kind of fairy enchantment... a word is born!

"What pishogues (an anglicized version of the Irish 'piseoga') were or are is vague; even as a part of speech the word is hard to define. Certain actions were deemed to be pishogues, but beliefs also were....If you said it was bad luck to come in and out of a house using the same door, someone would accuse you of believing in 'ol pishogues.'... A lot of pishogues surrounded cows and milk. If the cow wasn't inclined to give milk they believed someone had done pishogues. If the cream didn't turn into butter after you dashed it in the churn, that was pishogues, too; and if a woman was seen skimming the top of water from a pond on your land she was said to be doing pishogues, andit would have a bad effect on your cows..."

Posted by Ghost of a flea at August 25, 2009 11:44 AM


Now to find some 4,000 year-old garlic and 2,000 year-old lobsters.

Posted by: Chris Taylor [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 25, 2009 02:09 PM