Friday, 4 May 2018

takeaway

We rather enjoyed considering the etiquette, etymology and superstitions attached to leftovers and the convention of the doggie bag and had to wonder if the term was really falling out of common-parlance—the “this is for my pet” cover story having been dispensed with a while ago and restaurants in many places glad to pack up the remainders of one’s meal (though as correctly pointed out, not all cultures are accommodating to this notion).
We couldn’t determine the prevalence of this vernacular phrase exactly, which some suspect might be a corruption of docky (lunch) bag from an old East Anglican word but we’re siding with the canines and hope it has not already fallen out of fashion, but did to our unending delight run into another inscrutable pet name in that a traditional English breakfast, constituted of leftovers from the night before—usually boiled potatoes (though after a special meal, sometimes meat) and fried cabbage, is called “bubble and squeak.” The expression is a bit of onomatopœia, referring to the sounds preparing the food side-by-side makes and first appears in print oddly in dramatist Thomas Bridges 1762 A Travesty of Homer, a parody of The Illiad: “We therefore cooked him up a dish of lean bull-beef, with cabbage fry’d, …Bubble, they call this dish, and squeak.”