Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Have A Coronary

You’re probably thinking I mean a heart attack, but I’m not. A coronary comes from the Latin coronarius, of a crown (from corona, crown). It wasn’t until the 1670s that coronary became associated with the heart due to the crown of blood vessels surrounding it.

Perhaps you’d like a cardiac arrest instead. That comes from the Greek kardiakos for pertaining to the heart), though the arrest part didn’t become the word we most affix it to until 1950, when people living on Western diets started dropping like flies.

The ancient peoples were somewhat confused about the internal organs. The Greek kardia also means stomach, which is close to the old French cauldun (“bowels”), a word that sounds a lot like cauldron, a cooking pot. This makes sense in a metaphysical way, the stomach and its acids roiling away. The term “heartburn” is a result of this verbal proximity if not its anatomical one.

Whomever invented this exceptional sandwich ought to be crowned “Big Boy King.” If they’re still around. Which is doubtful.

Cooking for Two, Better Homes and Gardens, 1968

Also from this book: Goodnight Asparagus, Pizza Burger
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