Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0021989, Sun, 11 Sep 2011 00:53:14 +0100

Re: marmalade
Note that the English bottled fruit conserve, normally made from oranges, is
usually spelled MarmAlade, perhaps to avoid confusion with the Haitian town,
MarmElade. Who knows? The global vagaries in naming jams and jellies (UK
Jelly = US Jell-O! US Jelly = thin UK Jam!), and their spellings are beyond
rational fathomage. Jansy’s spelling might possibly have been influenced by
the Portuguese QUINCE PASTE, spelled MarmElada. There was certainly
confusion in the other direction back in the 16th century, when we find
MarmElada called MarmAlada!:

In 1524, Henry VIII received a "box of marmalade" from Mr. Hull of
Exeter.[5] As it was in a box, this was likely to have been marmelada, a
quince paste from Portugal , still made and sold in southern Europe. Its
Portuguese origins from marmalado can be detected in the remarks in letters
to Lord Lisle, from William Grett, 12 May 1534, "I have sent to your
lordship a box of marmaladoo, and another unto my good lady your wife" and
from Richard Lee, 14 December 1536, "He most heartily thanketh her Ladyship
for her marmalado".[4] The extension of "marmalade" in the English language
to refer to citrus fruits was made in the 17th century, when citrus first
began to be plentiful enough in England for the usage to become common.

Of possible interest in widening the semantic spread of Marmalade (delicious
on hot, buttered toast!):

Lern Yerself Scouse (Kelly-Bootle, Shaw, Spiegl, Scouse Press,1st ed 1966)
lists the verb trans. derived from Marmalade, as in I’LL BLEEDIN’ MARMALISE
YIZ, meaning, I will maul you severely. Obvious origin. Compare: Beaten to a
jelly; I made mincemeat out of the bugger.

We found the French verb, marmaliser, but used as mock English. Marmalize,
to beat to a jelly, has reached American dictionaries with US spelling.

On 10/09/2011 17:53, "Jansy" <jansy@AETERN.US> wrote:

> Alexei Sklyarenko: Вера. Пойдём, дядя Поль, пойдём, мой хороший. Я дам тебе
> мармеладку. (Vera. Let's go, uncle Paul, let's go, my dear. I'll give you some
> fruit jellies. "The Event," Act Two)... Bunin, who served as a model for the
> famous writer in "The Event," too, loathed Dostoevsky). Marmeladov is a
> character in Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment." Marmeladov is a drunkard,
> and the writer in "The Event" asks for liquors. Btw., the dusty-trousered
> Marmlad kneeling and wringing his hands before his Marmlady is also mentioned
> in Ada (2.4).
> JM: Anglophones might offer better information than I'll be able to, in
> connection to "marmelade," "marmlad/marmlady" and "fruit-jellies."
> I always saw Mlle Ida as a "marm" (school ma'am) - unrelated to marmelades.
> And Pres. Reagan as a "jelly bean" authority.
> Nabokov himself explains what Russian fruit jellies mean, in "Breaking the
> News"* and I remember them particularly well from "Signs and Symbols"**
> ..............................................................................
> ..............................................................................
> .....................
> * - "She reflected that tomorrow, a holiday, So-and-so would drop in; that
> she ought to get the same little pink gaufrettes as last time, and also
> marmelad (candied fruit jellies) at the Russian store, and maybe a dozen
> dainties in that small pastry shop where one can always be sure that
> everything is fresh."
> ** - "After eliminating a number of articles that might offend him or frighten
> him (anything in the gadget line for instance was taboo), his parents chose a
> dainty and innocent trifle: a basket with ten different fruit jellies in ten
> little jars"

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