38

The public saw the plays were fiction, perhaps even a warning against witchcraft, and the magic in them is divorced of religious overtones. It is noteworthy that the two Shakespeare plays which deal most overtly with magic, Macbeth and The Tempest were both written during the reign of King James I. James was an enthusiastic believer in the dangers of ...


18

That went a lot further down the rabbit-hole than I expected. There doesn't seem to be a lot of agreement on the origin of the phrase. It wouldn't seem like it would be a very old reference, since tobacco was introduced to Korea in the early 1600s. This Reddit post claims that it comes from an earlier phrase about eating the tobacco and might actually have ...


15

Colleen is the Anglicised version of the Irish Gaelic cailín, meaning young woman or maid. Derivation: caile (“maid”) +‎ -ín (diminutive suffix) Although girls are sometimes named Colleen, in the context of the lyric it shouldn't have a capital C. The New English-Irish dictionary has other usages.


10

It's not the 20th of May specifically - we have our own calendar, which is used alongside the western Gregorian calendar. Since dates don't map precisely you often find that we talk about dates in the Tamil system with the corresponding western dates. However the important context here is "with only three more auspicious dates" - there are specific dates, ...


9

Note As mentioned in the comments, a challenge was posted contesting the content of this answer. I answered the challenge with multiple real-world usages and the alleged origins of the expression. I'm linking it here as it serves as a further elaboration of this answer. I want to add a counteranswer here, not because I think Sean's answer is wrong, but ...


8

You don't know how funny it is to read this. This requires both cultural knowledge of Korea as well as the language. The "Heavenly Lord" or in this context is formally called Haneulnim (하늘님, "Heavenly King"). "Heaven" in this context is not the afterlife, but the literal sky and everything in the sky. I'm not too sure on the ...


7

It's a bit of an odd translation - but the actual proverb goes: சேற்றில கல்லெறிஞ்சா அது மூஞ்சிலே தெறிக்கும் If you throw a stone at mud, it will splatter on your face. Apparently it is Tamil, but not specifically unique to the Tamil-Brahmin culture, who have a few linguistic quirks of their own. There's a less polite version that seems a better fit: ...


4

According to George Z. Gasyna, Trans-Atlantuk (...) parodies utopian landscapes of collectivities and dismantles the cultural conditions that call for them. Gombrowicz's second novel, further, embarks on a linguistic satire (as well as a spectacular gloss on) the strongly escapist movement of seventeenth-century Poland known as Sarmatian baroque. The work ...


3

when Koreans say "back when tigers smoked," this is kind of the equivalent of Americans saying "long ago, when dinosaurs used to roam the Earth" except that dinosaurs actually existed and we're not sure if tigers ever smoked. It just means to say that it was a very long ago. A lot of Korean folktales have to do with tigers if you have ...


2

The bowl's significance is that it is used to practise chāyā dān, chhayadan or chaaya daan (depending on the transcription). In Northern India, the chāyā dān can be part of one of the seven pheras of Hindu weddings, as explained in Gloria Goodwin Raheja's study The Poison in the Gift: Ritual, Prestation, and the Dominant Caste in a North Indian Village (...


2

In Ancient Greece the East (Anatolia, the "Orient") was stereotyped as a place of richness, wealth, immorality, power, luxury - the opposite of a more austere and humble life, but more virtuous, that the non-Anatolian (western) Greeks would live. Anatolia had rich states (Lydia) and its wealth came also to the Greek cities nearby. The oldest reference I know ...


2

From the Wikipedia entry for Colleen: Colleen is a common English language name of Irish-American origin and a generic term for Irish women or girls, from the Irish cailín 'unmarried girl/woman', the diminutive of caile 'woman, countrywoman'. (My emphasis)


1

"Whiskey in the Jar" (see Wikipedia and LiveAbout) is a traditional Irish folk song about a man who robs an army officer and then is betrayed by his lover. Originally an oral tradition with many variations, it has been recorded by various bands and singers in the 20th century. The origin of this song would have been during the time of British rule ...


1

I can't puzzle through the second proverb, and this is just my best guess on the first: The oil-bean tree looks to be fairly large and spread out. If you wanted to get all the fruit, you'd have to travel quite a bit around in its branches. Climbing up would thus be a metaphor for your impoverished birth family. You can't get much fruit (resources) from ...


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