Wordsmith.org: the magic of words

Wordsmith Talk

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#149674 - 11/02/05 10:16 AM Will the real gong farmer please stand up?
Jackie Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11605
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Are you all ready for the s**t to hit the fan? The real definition is...a. It was one of several terms I heard on The History Channel, in this fantastic series called "The Worst Jobs in History". There were five segments: the Middle Ages, the Tudors, the Stuarts, the Georgians, and the Victorians. The host and main re-enactor was Tony Robinson, whom IMDb tells me was in Blackadder which I've never seen, but from comments posted here undoubtedly explains why I liked him so well. He did a good job of explaining how terms developed, such as saying that if your last name is Fuller, you probably had an ancestor who prepared sheeps' wool. (By stamping on it in a vat of stale urine. )

Anyway, here in red is who did the submitting, followed by blue for who did the voting--and darn you, tsuwm, if it hadn't been for you I'd have had a clean sweep:


a. A man, who, in the Middle Ages, had to go into the tunnels beneath towns and castles and clear out the plumbing when it got stopped up; gong is from the OE word for dung. real tsuwm

b. A hollywood talent scout. musick
Max, inselpeter, Elizabeth Creith

c. noun. From the Vietnamese French. One who shapes, makes and tunes cymbals used in Vietnamese music. After formier meaning "one who shapes a hat." Father Steve Marianna, AnnaStrophic, Coffeebean

d. a middleman who can arrange for someone to be awarded medals etc. Bingley
Ted

e. one who farms genetically original naturally grown crops consuelo
Father Steve

f. slang,obsolete: a derogatory reference to a farmer who quit after the dinner gong rang instead of taking advantage of long evenings and good weather to plant or harvest. Elizabeth Creith owlbow, Whiman O'Neill

g. one who uses drugs by smoking them; Cockney rhyming-slang, from "bong warmer" wofahulicodoc
etaoin

h. A soldier who actively seeks danger, looking for the chance to win medals. sjmaxq
faldage

i. Collector of "road apples" in Amish country. TEd Remington
Consuelo, Wofa

j. A seller of used fats and oils. inselpeter
Musick

k. the timing device in a grandfather clock. WhitmanO'Neill


l. One who grows sunflowers for the seeds, usually to be used in bird seed mix. Faldage bingley


So--Musick and Father Steve cleaned up (heh) on this one. The Hogmistress uses her privilege to bestow ˝ point to wofa for submitting a most-likely cross-over (figure that one out if you can), ˝ point to Ted for submitting a definition that was really close without knowing it, and ˝ point to WO'N for submitting the most logical definition that didn't get a vote. Hmm--and 3/4 of a point to Faldage, who had to submit an alternate definition due to the post about the Gong Show.

Special thanks to Alex Williams, who provided me with a link, though googling gong farmer provides some interesting sites, I discovered. But here's his:
gong farmer

Now, as the final puzzle for this round: which of the above definitions has a secret ?

Top
#149675 - 11/02/05 10:55 AM Re: Will the real gong farmer please stand up?
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10508
Loc: this too shall pass
Jackie, your link opens up a Discovery Channel "page not found".

here's what I found using the A-Z index:
The Gong Farmer
The gong farmer was the Tudor equivalent of a modern mobile toilet attendant. It was his job to empty the privies (a row of holes in a wooden plank over a tank) of private households. Once the farmer’s vat was full of ‘gong’ (dung), he carted it outside the city walls. The job was so unsavoury that gong farmers were only allowed to work during the night and were forced to live together in designated areas. When tobacco arrived in this country most gong farmers became heavy smokers to mask the gut-wrenching pong of the gong!



gardyloo!!


Edited by tsuwm (11/02/05 10:56 AM)

Top
#149676 - 11/02/05 10:55 AM Re: Will the real gong farmer please stand up?
Elizabeth Creith Offline
addict

Registered: 03/22/05
Posts: 500
Loc: Northern Ontario, Canada
Which definition has a secret? OK, I'll guess g, and that wofa grows pot on his compost heap. (Oops, guess it's not a secret now....)

Top
#149677 - 11/02/05 11:10 AM Re: Will the real gong farmer please stand up?
Jackie Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11605
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
You're right, tsuwm--thanks. I should have checked before posting; sorry. Here's a pretty good one, though it's PDF--the HTML version isn't as good:
trying again

Ah ha--found the Discovery Ch. one that works--I'll go replace it now, above.
Edit: [smacking palm to forehead] The one I "found" is the same as yours, M--I didn't at first realize that your 'gardyloo' was a link!

I should say, the reason I decided to use this term was the stated relationship between dung and gong: that's what I'd really like a citation for, and haven't been able to find.

Here's a slight hint re: the secret: the submitter is a clue. (More to follow, if needed...)

Top
#149678 - 11/02/05 11:23 AM Re: gong farmer PDF
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10508
Loc: this too shall pass
I think I guffawed upon reading the Career Entries/Career Exits bit.

Top
#149679 - 11/02/05 11:39 AM Re: gong farmer citations
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10508
Loc: this too shall pass
Forms: 5 fyrmar, 6 fermer, fermourer. [f. FARM v.1 + -ER1.]

One who cleanses or purifies. In comb. gong-farmer. Obs.

c1440 Promp. Parv. 203 Goonge fyrmar [v.r. gonge~fowar], cloacarius. c1515 Cocke Lorell's B. (Percy Soc.) 3 Than came a gonge fermourer, Other wyse called a masser scourer. Ibid. 11 Stynkynge gonge fermers.


there is a single OneLook ref.

Top
#149680 - 11/02/05 11:47 AM the proof is in the privy
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10508
Loc: this too shall pass
..what they called a garderobe inside the castle. The actual water closets were a wood constructed closet with a hole in the wooden seat. The plumbing consisted of a passage that led down the inside of the castle walls and opened into the castle's sewer system below. The very rich would use strips of linen as toilet paper. A gong farmer was in charge of cleaning the latrine pits under the castle and making sure they did not get clogged. These garderobes might be contained in privy rooms, a separate room near the Lord's quarters that held a large tub for bathing.

Top
#149681 - 11/02/05 10:04 PM Re: the proof is in the privy
Jackie Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11605
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
On another segment (Tudors, I think), one of the Worst Jobs was Groom of the Stool. Yes, exactly what you'd think: someone to serve the king, er, in "chambers". This is where one current meaning of stool came from. (They had a reconstructed one: a wooden box with a hole in the top; but Mr. Robinson did not give a demonstration of this job.)

Top
#149682 - 11/02/05 11:56 PM Re: the proof is in the privy
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
and the very worst experience of a groom of the stool? the poor guy who found George(the second i think) dead 'on the throne'.
_________________________
my other obsession

Top
#149683 - 11/03/05 12:19 AM Re: the proof is in the privy
Father Steve Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/06/00
Posts: 2788
Loc: Seattle, Washington, USA
George wasn't the only one.

"Surely he covereth his feet in his summer chamber."

Judges 3 (AV)

Top
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >


Moderator:  Jackie 
Forum Stats
8686 Members
16 Forums
13783 Topics
213006 Posts

Max Online: 3341 @ 12/09/11 02:15 PM
Newest Members
csmoore, Jane Luckner, anjela, MR LOGOPHILE, PlayRiter
8686 Registered Users
Who's Online
0 registered (), 45 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters (30 Days)
wofahulicodoc 77
LukeJavan8 59
endymion6 54
jenny jenny 47
Tromboniator 9
Faldage 5
Jane Luckner 1
MR LOGOPHILE 1
JTaz 1
csmoore 1
April
Su M Tu W Th F Sa
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30

Disclaimer: Wordsmith.org is not responsible for views expressed on this site. Use of this forum is at your own risk and liability - you agree to hold Wordsmith.org and its associates harmless as a condition of using it.

Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat

© 2014 Wordsmith