[PW] Searching for the source and the original language of a curse

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com
Thu Jan 6 09:09:23 PST 2022

A very elaborate curse mentioning “scorpions in your bosom” appeared
in a book published in London in 1858 within an article about
collecting bills for newspapers.

Year: 1858
Book Title: The World at Home: A Miscellany of Entertaining Reading
Article: Newspaper Dunning In America,
Quote Page 171, Column 2,
Publisher: Groombridge & Sons, London


[Begin excerpt]
‘Send us our dues—or may you be shod with lightning, and compelled to
wander through deserts of gunpowder; your eyes be sore, and a chestnut
burr for an eyestone. May you have a hornet’s nest in each boot,
vipers in your ears, scorpions in your bosom, and be rode by Irish
bog-trotters in the night, with a two-bushel bag of potatoes tied to
each leg.’
[End excerpt]

Garson O'Toole

On Sun, Dec 19, 2021 at 10:48 AM GraceAnne Andreassi DeCandido
<graceanneladyhawk at gmail.com> wrote:
> My grandmother noted a curse from her Abruzzese youth to the effect of "May
> he find scorpions in his bed." When I was older, I was told it was more
> like "May he find scorpions in his scrotum."
> I have done no searching on this, I wouldn't know where to begin. But I
> would love to know the source (it may also be Arabic, or dialect) and the
> original language.
> What prompted this search, and my request to you, is Joe Manchin.
> GraceAnne
> in New York City
> *a word after a word after a word is power*
> -Margaret Atwood
> _______________________________________________
> Project Wombat - Project-wombat
> list at project-wombat.org
> http://www.project-wombat.org/

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