Ever wonder why Irish dancers keep their hands totally still at their sides when they dance? Many sources attribute this custom to the Traveling Dance Masters of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. For a fee, this Dance Master would teach Irish children jigs, reels and hornpipes. Accompanied by a fiddler and/or piper, the Dance Master … Continue reading Tuesday Trivia: Irish Dancing
History has shown us over and over again that a society cannot be suppressed if their customs and language are allowed to flourish. It’s a lesson exemplified by the colonies’ treatment of black slaves, and of Elizabeth I's conquest of Ireland. One of the first things Elizabeth did was to order was the elimination of … Continue reading Tuesday Trivia: The Irish Gaelic Language
In the 18th and 19th centuries, Irish Catholic children attended school to learn English and arithmetic. In densely populated areas, school might be held in an abandoned barn or building, but in the country, the children literally sat in front of the hedgerows that separated one small croft from another. There were few, if any, … Continue reading Tuesday Trivia: The Hedgerow Schools of Ireland
As I was editing my manuscripts, I noticed that I occasionally used the word Okay, or its abbreviation OK. There’s nothing that peeves me more than an anachronism in historical fiction, so I decided to see if I could trace the origins of the word. Easier said than done! I did find out that OK … Continue reading Tuesday Trivia: The Origins of “OK”
In this country, we most often associate the bagpipe with Celtic cultures, particularly the Irish and Scots, but it is an instrument played around the world. Finland, Romania, Spain, Italy, Belarus, Turkey, Iran, Algeria and India are just a few of the countries where bagpipes are a traditional folk instrument. The Irish bagpipe is called … Continue reading Tuesday Trivia: The Bagpipe
Cowboys seldom referred to their ropes as lassos. They usually just called them ropes, and the act of catching a steer was called roping. In the Southwest, the rope was also referred to as a lariat or riata, both from the Spanish “la reata”, again meaning rope. At the end of the riata was a … Continue reading Tuesday Trivia: A lasso by any other name …
Billy the Kid (born William Henry McCarty, alias Henry Antrim, Kid Antrim, & William H. Bonney) has often been referred to as The Left-Handed Gun. In 1958, a movie with that title was made and starred the inimitable Paul Newman. The myth began with the publication of this ferrotype: It seems to show that Billy … Continue reading Tuesday Trivia: The Left-Handed Gun
In the mid 1860s, Navajo traditional clothing gave way to velveteen. The women began to wear velveteen dresses (or skirts and blouses) in lieu of deerhide or woven dresses called “blanket dresses”, which were fashioned by connecting two woven panels at the shoulders and lacing up the sides. The men replaced deerhide or woven … Continue reading Tuesday Trivia: Navajo Clothing
Saint Patrick's birth name was Maewyn Succat. He took the name of Patrick when he became ordained. Happy Paddy's Day!
Today's trivia concerns some new words I've learned during my research, as well as one that's often misunderstood. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to match the words A through D to definitions 1 through 4: A. Porter B. Hogan C. Laager D. Kiva 1. A camp defended by a circular formation … Continue reading Tuesday Trivia: What’s in a Name?