Hugh - if you have that site for searching words from Shakespeare, could you look for something about housewives napping ginger in Merchant of Venice. I believe I heard something about that topic in a recent performance I saw, but I can't find it in my copy of Shakspeare's (sic) complete works. However, said copy is very old and the print is tiny, and my eyes aren't what they were. I wanted to find out what napping ginger is (think its usuage is verbal ie I nap ginger, you nap ginger etc), but have had no luck with that either.
Merchant of Venice?
SALANIO: Now, what news on the Rialto?
SALARINO: Why, yet it lives there uncheck'd that Antonio hath
a ship of rich lading wrecked on the narrow seas;
the Goodwins, I think they call the place; a very
dangerous flat and fatal, where the carcasses of many
a tall ship lie buried, as they say, if my gossip
Report be an honest woman of her word.
SALANIO: I would she were as lying a gossip in that as ever
knapped ginger or made her neighbours believe she
wept for the death of a third husband. But it is
true, without any slips of prolixity or crossing the
plain highway of talk, that the good Antonio, the
honest Antonio,--O that I had a title good enough
to keep his name company!--
Brilliant - and so quick! - thanks, Hugh
Good thing I searched for ginger instead of nap, huh? Not that it helps any, since I dunno what knap means, at least not in that context. Snapped, mebbe? Still, that does not help with the apparent idiom. Could be like onions, making crocodile tears, I would think.
KNAP (verb, transitive): various dictionaries say...
Break a small piece off from; "chip the glass"; "chip a tooth"; break off, chip, cut off; separate with or as if with an instrument
Break off; carve
To bite; to bite off; to break short
Get cheap dental insurance (but I'm pretty sure that's a bad hit)
To bite suddenly or quickly
Okay, Shakespeare buffs, I'm going to submit a THEORY!
Ginger is a traditional (and effective) natural remedy for nausea, specifically recommended for MORNING SICKNESS. Therefore, an affluent housewife of Shakespeare's time could have a servent make ginger tea for her by boiling ginger root, but a woman without a servant might just BITE OFF some ginger root and chew it to keep morning sickness under control.
So maybe Salanio imagines this "gossiping report" to be an eternally pregnant busy-body who munches ginger root while trading stories all over the neighborhood. This would have her BREATHING ginger all over people--which is not the worst thing an Elizabethan-era lady could smell like.
Can anybody corroborate or disprove this?
I chewed a piece of ginger root at a Japanese restaurant once. Not a mistake one is ever likely to repeat.
S.O.D. has Knapple (1611) - to bite shortly and repeatedly; to nibble.
I think "picking ginger" is probably the meaning. With nap being spelled "knap".
A question Hugh, did you include your Shakespeare quotation page in the list of resource materials at Resource Central.
Also, if you monitor this Stephen. Can you copy the Resource Central thread to this forum?
So a knapsack is a bag in which you carry little slices of food to nibble.
Probably correct on knapsack, Ian. Rhymezone is already on the Resource Central thread.
No, the real error is thinking that the wasabi paste is guacamole!
According to the Riverside Shakespeare, 'knapp'd' is used to mean 'chewed.'
I think it's like Honking Bobo but don't go by me !
a napkin is a small nap ...10-15 mins or so
Yikes AND Jinkies !
Actually....I'd be more frightened the other way around......Guacamole is not to my liking.
Reminds me of the time I asked for a regular coffee to go...they gave me Amaretto flavor...which is ok if you're expecting it but it caused me to spit it all over my steering wheel.
Now that's what i call a sticky situation !
Rita Rudner ate a mouthful of wasabi once (and only once!) thinking it was guacamole. She says, "I SAW MY OWN NOSTRILS!"
I've always liked her !