Posted in Wordy Wednesday

Fishing in the market

by Gemma Bardsley
by Gemma Bardsley,

Once a general market which probably sprung up in the 13th century, Billingsgate became a fish market in the 17th century.  In Old English, “Billingesgate” refered to the gate of or belonging to the man named Billings, and may have been a gap (gate) in a Roman wall along the river.  Perhaps Billings fished the river and brought his catch up through the gap to hawk it to passersby!  Who knows?

But of what interest is a market to a word nerd?  Well, because the market was once known for the foul, coarse language of the fishmongers who sold their wares in the market, the name of that market has become synonymous with such language.  According to, billingsgate is a noun from:

         1670s, the kind of coarse, abusive language once used by women in the Billingsgate market on the River Thames below London Bridge.

Billingsgate is the market where the fishwomen assemble to purchase fish; and where, in their dealings and disputes they are somewhat apt to leave decency and good manners a little on the left hand. [“Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue,” 1811]

And in case you think it doesn’t get bandied about any longer, here is a quote I found from a 2008 newspaper article:

“Kitty Warren is articulate when needed but when threatened or challenged, guttersnipe dialect and billingsgate dominate.”
Ted Hadley; Shaw Play Masterfully Tackles Taboo Topics; Buffalo News (New York); Jul 25, 2008

This tendency of the fishwomen of Billingsgate to use such language also gave rise to the word “fishwife,” a coarse, vulgar woman, likely to outswear a sailor!

So the next time you are in the market for fish, do mind your tongue!



Posted in Food and Cooking, Monday Matters, Uncategorized

Getting Real!

A special thanks goes out to Josh Wrenn for his unintended reminder that I haven’t added any recipes to my blog for quite awhile!  So, here is one that I most definitely cannot take credit for, but that my hubby and I love.

It all started on our honeymoon at Walt Disney World, Orlando.  We were having dinner in EPCOT at Alfredo’s, in Italy.  We ordered a pasta sampler, and were blown away by the wonderful sauces.  I asked the waiter about the one sauce.  He said it was their signature Alfredo sauce.  Well, I had never had one so yummy, and asked what they did – he wouldn’t or couldn’t say, but did tell us that Americans make it wrong by adding milk or cream.  Well, I searched for this sauce for years.  And 2 years ago, while planning an Italian dinner party for hubby’s birthday, I found it.  On the internet.  Alfredo’s di Roma, from the original restaurant in Rome.  So here it is.


Alfredo’s Original Alfredo Sauce:

  • 1 pound very thin fettuccine
  • 6 ounces unsalted butter
  • 6 ounces parmigiano-reggiano, grated

First, let the butter soften to room temperature.  Cook the pasta according to the directions if dried, 3 minutes if using fresh.  Meanwhile, place the soft butter in a bowl, and begin mixing the grated cheese into the butter, until it is smooth and creamy.  Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water.  Drain the pasta and place in a large bowl.  Toss with the butter and cheese.  (IF the pasta seems too dry, add small amounts of the reserved water, but only if needed.)  Plate and serve!

Buon appetito!

Posted in Monday Matters, The Way

Monday Matters

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me,bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, – Psalm 103:1 – 2

As 2015 ends and 2016 begins, I have noticed a common thread running through many of the blogs I have been following:  gratitude, thankfulness, positive attitude, etc.  I was wondering why, but a few days ago I found the answer when I opened up my Bible Gateway app to read and study for a bit.

O bless the Lord, O my soul!”  Hmm.  Same attitude of gratitude, but now it is directed somewhere – towards God.  David goes on to list why he is grateful and full of praise.  I think that it is worthwhile to examine the whys today.

  1. He forgives all your sins.  We sometimes have a hard time with this, but God is clear – if we ask, He will forgive all.
  2. He heals.  Again, we struggle with this, because not everyone is cured of all their illnesses or diseases in this life.  BUT, when we do come to God and ask to be forgiven, He welcomes us home as His children, and gives us the greatest gift – ETERNITY.  So whether there is a miracle on earth or one in heaven, He heals our brokenness!
  3. He redeems.  HE paid the price – the blood price – that our sins cost, and He paid it on our behalf, in His own blood.  That’s redemption – it’s when someone else pays a debt they do not owe, on behalf of someone else.  Jesus bought our freedom with His blood!
  4. He crowns us with love and mercy.  And not just any love – steadfast, hold-onto-us-forever love!
  5. He satisfies us with good!  He will cure cravings for the unhealthy, for the worthless, and fill us with true goodness!
  6. He renews your youth like eagles.  When I think of the most vibrant, most alive people I know or have known, I realize most of them are older.  My sweet friend, Vitie, was 94 years young, and I had to run to keep up with her.  My friends Maxine and Marcia are both older than I, but keep a much more hectic schedule than me.  How?  Because they trust Jesus for the strength and the energy to accomplish the tasks He sets before them.

And that’s just in the first 5 verses!  This year, I am going to ask the Lord to give me an attitude of gratitude’ and to remind me of all the things we have to  praise Him  for!

What will be your focus this year, your attitude?  Share your thoughts and ideas here in the comments, and let’s check back in a few months to see how we are all doing!