Sunday, September 28, 2008

word of the week (Sept 28 - Oct 4): scrunchins

Sept 28 – Oct 4 Word of the Week

scrunchins n

Definition according to the Dictionary of Newfoundland English:

scrunchins n pl also cruncheons, scrunche(o)ns, scrunchings, scrunchions [phonetics unavailable]. Cp EDD scrunching(s) I 'the remains of a feast; remnants of food, broken meat, scraps,' 2 'refuse of any kind' Y, and also crunch Sc Lei Gl, crunshon Y Ha, scrunch 7 Ox, 8.

1 Bits of animal fat or fish liver, esp after its oil has been rendered out.

1792 PULLING MS 8 The only substitute I can find they have for bread is eggs, mixed up with deer's and swile's cruncheons which forms a kind of paste.

[1844] GOSSE 114-15 The advancing heat of spring melts the fat from the cellular tissue, which, when the oil has been drawn off, is rejected under the name of scruncheons.

1861 DE BOILIEU 158 After taking out as much oil as possible, and placing it in a tank, the remainder in the boiler, called 'scrunchens,' is collected, and undergoes the process of being pressed with a strong screw.

1897 J A Folklore x, 208 Scrunchings, the fibrous part of seal blubber and cods' livers, after they have been boiled or tried out and the oil pressed out of them.

1937 DEVINE 43 ~ the residue in a cask or boiler of cod livers or seal fat after the oil has been drawn off. P 218-68 ~ squares of whale fat after the oil has been rendered from them. Often used as fuel to keep the fires going under the oil vats.

1981 HUSSEY 21 When the cod oil was all rendered out and sold, we used to go over across the harbour to the factory and get the scruncheons (the residue that remained after all the [cod liver] oil was pressed out ... and although it didn't burn quite so well as the cod livers ... it helped ... to keep us warm in the fall.

2 Fatback pork, cut into cubes, often fried and served as a garnish, esp over FISH AND BREWIS.

1920 WALDO 160 'Bruise' is a very popular dish of hard bread boiled with fish, and with 'scrunchins' (pork) fried and put over it. P 245-55 ~ small, finely cut bits of fat pork, fried and eaten with fish and bruise. They are in the form of little cubes, 1/8 in. thick or smaller, and crisp on the top. T 92/3-64 And cut it real fine. What we used to call scrunchins, the little chunks. You cut them up and you put that in the flour. P 207-66 We're having scrunchins with our fish and potatoes.

1966 SCAMMELL 23 'Fish and brewis?' Uncle Jasper's tone was reverent. 'And scruncheons?' 'And scruncheons. Mary needn't know. And if she does, what odds?

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