Wednesday, June 27, 2012


A popular name for coffee.

How to make coffee, alias ninny-broth; a new invention of buttering turnips; to make a loaf of bread to dance about the table, intermixed with profit and delight.

Poor Robin, 1696.

Which makes some saints low-teachers chuse
Not for their doctrine, but their news.
But when they’re in a fit of zeal,
Their wounded conscience they heal
With ninny-broth, o’er which they seek
Some new religion ev’ry week.

Hudibras Redivivus, Part I, 1708.

Source: Nares’ Glossary, or, collection of words, phrases, names, and allusions to customs, proverbs, etc., which have been thought to require illustration, in the works of English authors, particularly Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Vol. II, K–Z.

(from a page at random)


Jonathan Chant said...

Funny, I've just drunk a whole jug of ninny broth before dancing around the table to read your post...

Jonathan Chant said...

and discovering more things for my profit and delight.

William Michaelian said...

And I’m on my second cup as well. I’m telling you, Jonathan, this book is the answer to all of our problems.

Jonathan Chant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jonathan Chant said...

You're right! This new method for buttering a turnip... why hasn't anyone shown me this before?
It works a treat.

(For grammatical reasons, I had to delete the last comment. I'd put a peeling in the wrong line.)

William Michaelian said...

I’m glad you corrected that, because I was about to crucify you for that missing fly-speck.

Stickup Artist said...

I love that term, "Ninny Broth." That's a new one on me and I can envision many a time when I could apply it. It's very funny actually.

William Michaelian said...

It really is, and I think we should start using it. What a book — it’s full of gems like this.

Anthony Duce said...

Very much enjoyed..

William Michaelian said...

Thanks, Anthony. Glad you could stop by for a cup.