[Tidbits] Pense


French word. It means thought, think, ponder. It means cogitate
and consider. In the world of slang it means chew the cud, use
the noggin, turn over the bean, get down to brass tacks. It
means to pound the brain, crack down, skulldrag, stew, sweat,
reckon, calculate. It means bite on that, paste it in your hat,
put it in your ear, and, last but no least…put it in flowers.

Which leads us to our next etymological adventure. Flowers. It
in the world of slang…they have many names. There’s the Bloody
Nose for the Indian Paintbrush. There’s the Mum. There’s the
Dilly for the Daffodil. There’s the Kittykin for the
Pussy-Willow. There’s Scrambled Eggs for the Flyflower. There’s
the Monkey Face for the Monkey Flower, and the Laylock for the
Lilac. And last but not least …there are Chicken Fighters and
Bright Eyes and Pacifiers…all names for one form or another of
the Violet.

Which brings us, my friends…to the Violet. No more slang for
today. I don’t want to underwhelm you. Violet…according to
Britannica: any plant of the large genus Viola, of about 400
species…one of which…my friends…is the Pansy…a plant
named after the French word for “thought”…which is "Pense. The
Pansy was once called, for those of you curious enough to read on
after this mish-mash of useless …it was once called
Pensee, and Pensy, and Paunsie.

In the early 1800’s, sentiment inspired the creation of much
jewelry. The Pansy stood in the forefront as a symbol for
thought. I guess that meant that if your other half thought you
were a thinking person, he/she gave you a pansy for your
troubles. It in the year 1810, it in England, an unknown jeweler
created a bejeweled pansy for one Countess of Listowel. It was
made of Amethyst and Topaz and Chrysoprase and Diamonds. Which
leads some of us…me for instance…to some interesting
ponderings which go like this: Why use Chrysoprase when
superstition had it that this stone produced chills and
shivering beginning it in the upper body and ultimately spreading
over the whole person. Why use Diamonds when superstition had it
that if one were exposed to the stone long enough it would
stiffen the muscles–not necessarily the desired ones–till
finally leading the hapless victim into a state of epilepsy. Of
course…it is common knowledge that the Amethyst prevents
drunkenness…one can only surmise why the jeweler decided to use
this stone in his creation for the Countess. As to the Topaz…a
curative stone for all the ills of the flesh… perhaps it was
used as an antidote for the effects of the other gems in our

Of course…there is always the possibility…remote though it
may be…that the stones used were only used for the sake of
beauty and balance. Who knows? Neither I nor the Shadow. I leave
the solving of the mystery to you, dear reader. You have but to
go to my home page, and scroll down the table menu till you get
to Tidbits Graphics, and then click on Pansy.

And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
Benjamin Mark