editor has passed to me a communication from occasional Bikwil
on my column in Issue 17 (January, 2000) about
the So-called Unready, jeneric writes:
means "good counsel" (perhaps it should be spelt Ethelraed??) so the "Un-raed"
or "lacking counsel" tag was a snide little bit of wordplay by the authors
of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (who seem to have been pretty hostile to poor
old E the U).
quotes the source of this information as Frank McLynn's 1066 — the Year
of the 3 Battles.)
jeneric, and while we’re adding to our knowledge of old England, allow me
to continue my discussion on that other Ethel, the virginal abbess
Etheldreda (or “Etheldrida”).
death in 679 she became known as St. Audrey (a corruption of “Etheldrida”)
and the patron saint of the isle of Ely, which is where she had founded
her monastery. An annual fair was later instituted at her shrine there,
and among the goods sold were cheap jewellery and showy lace. The latter,
apparently, was already known as “St. Audrey’s lace” because in her vain
youth Etheldrida was well-known to have worn such adornments.
word tawdry, first as an abbreviation for the lace itself (“Let us
buy some tawdries”), then eventually in the pejorative adjectival sense we
Goop reminds us, however, that, although the sale of laces at the annual
. . . did
not give the article its name, it doubtless made it more widely known, and
[subsequently] led to the production of cheap and showy forms for the
”country wenches” . . ., which at length gave to tawdry its later