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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.


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December 21, 2006


A few years ago, i went on a Medieval history jag. I think it was Barbara Tuchman's A Distant Mirror that had a section on cursing in Medieval Burgundy. Blasphemy of the kind you describe was rampant. The f-bomb of the era was "I deny god!" (whatever that would be in French).

Here in the Anglophone U.S., I'm told that "goddamn," "hell" and other blasphemies are going out of fashion with the kids, though I wonder if the popularity of South Park might keep "Goddammit" in use for a while.

Down Mexico way, the Quebecois are called "los Tabernacos," for their liberal use of "tabernac."

Which reminds me: Venerable Hat has assorted riches on this subject.

And there's lots more. Seriously, the man should be knighted for services to humanity.

I've never heard anyone say "los tabernacos" referring to people from Québec (and my sister lives in Québec, and we are both Mexicans, but what do I know!). In Continental Spain the use of "hostia" is very common and some of us Mexicans like to use it as well. And we also eat wafers, maybe not as crisps, but as some sort of candy snack. I know you like markets, Beth, so maybe you will find this interesting...

very interesting! reminds of the British "bloody", which offends Christ's mother, Our Lady.

Ernesto, according to my Quebecois source, it's common in tourist areas, presumably the ones most favored by Quebocois wintering birds.

I wish I were clever enough to make such stuff up!

The internet backs me up, sort of: Another page (full of pop-ups, so I won't send you there) avers: sur les plages mexicaines, les Québécois sont connus sous le nom de "los tabernacos"...

So, it must be most common on the beaches. I encourage everyone to check out the language hat links I gave above. You'll need a shower afterwards.

Yeah, must be true then. I did not want to imply you were making it up. I just swear I had never heard the expression until now. Sounds awful, especially because it seems like the term is composed, consciously, using the suffix "naco", which is a classist, racist derogatory term I truly dislike.


I think the bike lanes are closed after Nov 15, so that guy had the right to be there. For what it's worth.

Hey, I recognized some of the sweets in that Mexican link, having visited (and purchased from) some sweets vendors in Guanajuato and Morelia. Of tabernacos, though, I know nothing! I grew up in a French-Canadian neighborhood in New Hampshire and my memory of swear-words basically involved pigs and damnation.

I can't speak to whether or not some Mexicans call Quebeckers "los tabarnacos," but there is most definitely a Mexican restaurant named "El Taco del Tabarnaco" on Duluth St.

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