Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Baring Blistering Bunions Bravely

ABC Wednesday is a word meme with participants from around the world. This fabulous meme was created and hosted by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt who hails from Great Britain. Over time, others have joined in to help host this wonderful and informative meme. We are now in our TENTH round! Some of the participants have been with this from the very first round; others have joined in along the way. Each week we are taken across the globe to see the varied and exciting contributions people have taken the time to discover and capture. We start with the letter, "A" and each week we post something in regards to the next letter of the alphabet. This week's letter is, "B".


Saved by the bell...isn't that a funny expression when you think about it? There are so many phrases we use throughout each day-usually without regard to its meaning and its origin. "Saved by the bell" seems to have at least two origins that I can find. One is from the world of boxing slang in the latter half of the 19th century; when a boxer who is about to loose a round would be saved by the bell. The other 'origin' is from the17th century where it has been said that bells were placed in coffins in the event that the buried person would come to-they would ring the bell in hopes that someone would hear them and save them. In either case, the reference has to do with being saved by intervention. Which is how we use the phrase today.


We are at the start of Chinese New Year, or the lunar year. Actually, it begns at the end of the lunar celebration-celebration begins on Jan. 23rd and ends on Feb. 4th. According to Chinese Five Element Astrology Calendar, 2012 is the Year of Water Dragon Female Water. The color of Water in Five Elements system is related to Black. Therefore we can say 2012 is a Black Dragon, Water Dragon or Black Water Dragon year (from the website: http://www.chinesefortunecalendar.com/2012ChineseHoroscope.htm).Check it out. Too much info for me to try to distill for you. Fascinating, though. The image is also from the website and is one of nine dragons that are on a very large/long scroll. Riveting stuff, I say.


A few months back I was reading a book that I haven't read straight through yet (it lends itself to that) about gemstones. I was on the chapter about black jet and how it came to be in fashion. It's considered to be a lesser or minor gemstone. I suppose I could've saved this one for the letter, 'j', but it seems to fit in nicely with the black dragon theme here. From Wikipedia (they rock, don't they? no pun intended):

"Jet is a product of high pressure decomposition of wood from millions of years ago, commonly the wood of trees of the family Araucariaceae. Jet is found in two forms, hard and soft. Hard jet is the result of the carbon compression and salt water; soft jet is the result of the carbon compression and fresh water.
Jet as a gemstone was fashionable during the reign of Queen Victoria, during which the Queen wore Whitby jet as part of her mourning dress. Jet was associated with mourning jewellery in the 19th century because of its sombre colour and modest appearance, and it has been traditionally fashioned into rosaries for monks."

Anyway, as I was saying, I had just read about black jet (or, you can just call it jet but one might think you're talking about the flying machines) and then the next day went up to Santa Fe and was showing my friend a second hand store that has the neatest things for sale (called, Double Take). Lo and behold! There in the jewelry case is black jet. And, in asking permission to photograph it I found myself giving way too much information about an on line meme I do involving weekly postings of the letters of the alphabet. It's hard to explain what we do here to those that do not read blogs or even go near a computer, isn't it? Sigh...but I thought it was such an odd coincidence to run in to what I thought was something obscure after just reading about it.

So, maybe now, when you head out, YOU might run in to some black jet and know what it is!

And, no baring blistering bunions were bravely used in this post, as you can see. Didn't mean to get your hopes up.


Leslie: said...

Just last night, one of my students had to interpret idioms. "Saved by the bell" wasn't among them, but I'll try to remember to ask him next week if he knows it.

abcw team

Gigi Ann said...

I have to admit, I never heard of Black Jet. What an interesting story to go with the picture.

Gemma Wiseman said...

An intriguing, informative post! So love the term "black water dragon"! It sounds so romantic!

EG Wow said...

I have some old beads I believe might be black jet...so I did know about it. But I had no idea some was formed in salt water and some in fresh!

And I knew it was the year of the dragon...but not that it's the year of the BLACK dragon.

Isn't it wonderful what you can learn blogging?

anthonynorth said...

Yes, so many linguistic uses of bell. Enjoyed your post.

Carver said...

Black jet sounded familiar but I didn't remember about it. So much is knew to me as I forget more and more. Great job with B words and photographs. I always enjoy your posts so much. Carver, ABC Wednesday team member

Reader Wil said...

Thanks for this interesting post! But this we are used from you. There is always something to learn if we visit your blog.Thank you also for your comment and the names you and your family got.

Joy said...

Bells in coffins, reminds me of the Edgar Alan Poe story, premature burial, shudder.
I nearly bought a Victorian jet necklace once when over that side of the country on holiday. Certainly the best place to find both modern and old jewellery of jet.
Love the dark thread running through your post
Wishing you a prosperous lunar new year.

chubskulit said...

Black Dragon looks scary!

Rose, ABC Wednesday Team

Roger Owen Green said...

great set of items; a bit scary.

photowannabe said...

Thanks for such interesting information.
I was just reading about the Black Dragon. I love finding out about other cultures.
Idioms fascinate me too. Either of the explanations work for me.

meryl said...

Fascinating post! I read in the paper that the Year of the Dragon is supposed to be a particularly lucky year and many Chinese are trying to have "lucky" babies.

I wish you all a very lucky year!

helenmac said...

Fantabulous blog, MG! And for some reason I have always associated black jet with Victorians and now I know who made it so popular.
ABC Wednesday Team


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