Wednesday, February 20, 2008

throw another decapod crustacean on the raised framework of sticks, Bruce

In another example of the fundamental interconnectedness of all things, no sooner have I posted some pictures of my shiny new barbecue than an article appears on the excellent Strange Maps depicting a map of the barbecue sauce preferences of the residents of South Carolina (some of whom take this whole barbecue business very seriously).

The article also touches on the etymology of the word barbecue, a subject also touched upon in the comments to a recent post on the equally excellent Language Log. In brief: it's from the Caribbean word barbacoa meaning "a raised framework of sticks". Any suggestion that it's from the Frencah phrase barbe à queue meaning (roughly) "from beard to tail" and supposedly denoting the cooking of the whole animal (presumably a goat for the "beard" reference to make any sense) is a folk etymology and not accepted by the people in the know. It's nice to see that even in the rarefied academic atmosphere of a Language Log comments thread people can still get all arsey at the drop of a hat. There's less of the usual u suck lol pwnt abbreviations and use of the word asshat, but it's still quite amusing.

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