Wednesday, 17 February 2016

To take the say

Per Brewer's
To take the say.  To taste meat or wine before it is presented, in order to prove that is it not poisoned. Say is short for assay, a test; the phrase was common in the reign on Queen Elizabeth I.

So neither Google nor I are familiar with this expression, but it does remind me of Asterix and Cleopatra.

Cleopatra's official taster

And if you're not familiar with Asterix and Obelix, for crying out loud, go educate yourself! 

(A quick poll of my office a few years ago revealed that most of them had never heard of Asterix, and even when shown an image of him still didn't know who he was. Asterix comics are full of marvellous puns - all the more impressive when you consider that they are translated - and are the main source of my appreciation of Roman culture. And why I say 'fer-pectly'.)

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