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#204406 - 01/28/12 03:56 PM Attention: Candy  
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Jackie Offline
Jackie  Offline

Carpal Tunnel

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Louisville, Kentucky
I just got an e-mail from an Aussie friend, who said he'll be renting his house at a "peppercorn rate". I think he meant cheaply, but where did this expression come from, do you know?

#204409 - 01/28/12 09:34 PM Re: Attention: Candy [Re: Jackie]  
Joined: Nov 2011
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Rhubarb Commando Offline
old hand
Rhubarb Commando  Offline
old hand

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Lancaster, UK
Yep - in the Middle Ages in Britain, pepper was actually quite an expensive spice. However, to pay just one pepper corn (from which pepper is ground) was still a lot less than most rents, so the lease or agreement drawn up between friends, with one making a gift to the other for whatever reason, but to make it a truly legal contract, the rent was one pepper corn per year. Other commodities were used, as well, for the same reason, to ake a contract legally binding.


I'm immortal until proven otherwise
#204412 - 01/29/12 02:09 AM Re: Attention: Candy [Re: Jackie]  
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Jackie Offline
Jackie  Offline

Carpal Tunnel

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Interesting; thanks.

#204413 - 01/29/12 02:04 PM Re: Attention: Candy [Re: Jackie]  
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BranShea Offline
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BranShea  Offline
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Netherlands, the Hague
Peppercorn price. We still have standing expressions such as 'for a peppered price' or 'as expensive as pepper', meaning really extra expensive.
(no mention of a single corn saying)

#204414 - 01/29/12 02:10 PM Re: Attention: Candy [Re: BranShea]  
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Rhubarb Commando Offline
old hand
Rhubarb Commando  Offline
old hand

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Lancaster, UK
Makes sense, Bran - in the C17 and C18, the Dutch were the main importers of spices from their connections in the East Indies and other places in the Far East.


I'm immortal until proven otherwise
#204415 - 01/29/12 02:34 PM Re: Attention: Candy [Re: Rhubarb Commando]  
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BranShea Offline
Carpal Tunnel
BranShea  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

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Netherlands, the Hague
I'm sure many of the traders and common sailors slipped a few unaccounted for corns into their pockets. smile

#204427 - 01/30/12 04:01 AM Re: Attention: Candy [Re: Jackie]  
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Jackie Offline
Jackie  Offline

Carpal Tunnel

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Louisville, Kentucky
Didn't their sneezing then give them away? wink

#204431 - 01/30/12 11:17 AM Re: Attention: Candy [Re: Jackie]  
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HalAl Offline
stranger
HalAl  Offline
stranger

Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 19
Central Indiana
Originally Posted By: Jackie
Didn't their sneezing then give them away? wink

Until ground it's not likely a problem. Like an onion that's perfectly fine until you start to peel or slice it, then, WAAAAAAHHHHHH!

#204448 - 01/31/12 02:27 AM Re: Attention: Candy [Re: Jackie]  
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Jackie Offline
Jackie  Offline

Carpal Tunnel

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Louisville, Kentucky
Oh man, what is the name of that chemical in onions? I was just trying to think of it the other day.

#204456 - 01/31/12 07:17 PM Re: Attention: Candy [Re: Jackie]  
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BranShea Offline
Carpal Tunnel
BranShea  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

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Netherlands, the Hague
Sulphur. Compound of the whole Genus Allium. Antidiabolic, antivampiric, antianything that isn't good for your health.

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