Between a What and a What?

Feel like a little insult? Not for you, but for someone else, of course. And today’s offering, from a master of the art, William Shakespeare, is from Coriolanus, Act 2, Scene 1,

Screen Shot 2017-07-17 at 9.32.11 AM

It’s another gem from Menenius Agrippa (that’s him facing the women, above) in his insult-filled diatribe directed at the Roman tribunes Junius Brutus and Sicinius Velutus (that’s them in the background, above):

You wear out a good wholesome forenoon in hearing a cause between an orange wife and a fosset-seller (Coriolanus 2.1.68-9).

Fosset is an old spelling for–wait for it–faucet. And an orange wife? It’s obvious: a woman who sells oranges. Duh. But the insult is not directed at orange wives or fosset-sellers but at anyone who spends all morning listening to a dispute between such persons. Those people. Get it? Good.

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About writerhoss

I am a writer from southwestern Ohio, and a frequent speaker at churches, conferences, and retreats. My books include The Bard and the Bible (A Shakespeare Devotional).
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