snarky, fossicking and pease pudding


Often times found in forums, when people will say something like: “I don’t mean to be snarky, but….” and then of course, they ARE snarky.
The meaning in this sort of context is rather transparent. but the first time I came across it, I thought it had to do with Lewis Caroll’s snark, this fictional creature, the only one I had ever heard of, but it didn’t
When I googled snarky, I got:

A colloquialism meaning short-tempered or snappish.

Then, I read autolycus‘s Where I am from, and can you believe it ? two new words were waiting for me there.
The first one was fossicking, a term I had never come across, and which according to wikipedia

…is a term found in Cornwall and Australia referring to prospecting. This can be for gold, precious stones, fossils, etc. …

Pease pudding
And the second one, I had found several times but had never really looked up, assuming it was food for the poor, without really knowing what sort of pudding pease pudding was.

sometimes known as pease pottage or pease porridge, is a baked vegetable product, which mainly consists of split yellow or Carlin peas, water, salt and spices, often cooked with a bacon or ham joint

or, to make a long story short, in French, purée de pois cassés. Sometimes a short translation is worth a long description. At least, this makes sense to my tastebuds 😉


14 thoughts on “snarky, fossicking and pease pudding

  1. As a child I used to sing this rhyme:

    Pease pudding hot, Pease pudding cold,
    Pease pudding in the pot – nine days old.
    Some like it hot, some like it cold,
    Some like it in the pot – nine days old.

  2. When I read your post I rushed immediately to the internet to find this rhyme only to find that Mr. Reynolds had beat me to it. I always wondered what it was all about and why would anyone want anything that was nine days old, but there you are.

    Pease pudding hot, Pease pudding cold,
    Pease pudding in the pot – nine days old.
    Some like it hot, some like it cold,
    Some like it in the pot – nine days old.

    Just to empty my memory and it always bears repeating!

    And snarky speaks for itself, as you said. But fossicking, that’s a new one on me.

  3. The version I know says “Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold…”

    Pease was the original word from which pea was derived. People heard pease as a plural form, but it was actually a collective noun like corn. That’s what I’ve read.

    Never heard fossicking before, and I’ve never before thought about the origin of snarky, which I guess we understand intuitively, as you said you did.

  4. Thanks for the mention. Personally I can’t abide either pease pudding (yellow) or mushy peas (a purée of green marrowfat peas traditionally eaten with fish and chips) – my Dad’s love of pease pudding sticks in my mind much as the pudding itself stuck in my throat as a child. But I suppose you could think of pease pudding as polenta all’inglese!

    Fossicking – well, yes, it’s a bit obscure, perhaps, and I only know it as an Australian word. But it’s almost onomatopoeic for the process of hunting out interesting bits and pieces out of a heap of stuff.

  5. intriguing, claude. will think about opportunities to add “fossicking” to my vocabulary. like the sound. would it works to describe poking around for something elusive, as “she was fossicking endlessly for the perfect partner”?

  6. @ naomi, Somehow, I don’t think you can endlessly fossick for a partner ! But then, who am I to say whether it is or not, I’m a foreigner 🙂
    I can’t stop laughing!

  7. I have seen “the word “{snark) on a political blog I read. It seems one can get away with saying anything if it is followed up with the word “snark”, many times in parentheses.

    The blog of which I speak is a liberal blog called “Dailykos”

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