So if we ever needed proof that Big Tech Brother is watching us, what about this? Last Thursday, I posted a blog here mentioning ‘porridge’ and today in my Facebook timeline, an advert appears for a ‘Porridge Advent Calendar’. I kid you not! I distinctly remember writing about how much I hated porridge. Why on earth would I want a calendar announcing the coming of the porridge?!
Etymologically, porridge might come from porage, thick soup of vegetables boiled in water, or poree, leek broth. Scotch broth is a delicious vegetable soup with vegetables, barley and red lentils. And leeks. While reading up on porridge (as you do, when you have a ton of work to get through on a Tuesday) I came across the word ‘shibboleth’ in a blog about salt and water versus sugar and milk in porridge: a test of Scottishness. My father ate his the traditional Scottish way, with salt. But the word shibboleth fascinated me. In the bible, it was used by the Gileadites to distinguish their own men from fleeing Ephraimites, because Ephraimites could not pronounce the sh sound.
Without the definite article, porridge or doing porridge means doing time in prison. It was the title of a television series starring comedian Ronnie Barker as an inmate.
Can’t wait to see the adverts I get now!