Some of you may remember the Orchard Beach Codex. For those who don't a quick recap. The OBC, so-called because it washed ashore in Old Orchard Beach, Maine in 1947, is an obscure collection of medieval documents cobbled together some around the turn of one of the centuries. At one time, many scholars say, the OBC was over 6,000 pages long, its pages consisting of a compendium Bible quotes, language primers, advice for the lovelorn and recipes for kippered snacks. Over time the OBC was whittled down to a few precious pages which happened to find its way into my mailbox by way of Nancy Bell Scott who by strange coincidence lives in Old Orchard Beach. Amazing. Wrapped in this colorful chapbook and festooned with what many think may be Gaelic runes or Asemic Kanji....

it contained a few precious pages, perhaps all this is left of the OBC including this treatise on Gluck....

which Nancy has freely translated from the Old German. Also included were these pages....

 a page from the graphic novelization of the Icelandic epic poem Gevorsk (I'll be including a translation as soon as all the St Paddy's day hoopla subsides) and a Post Toasties ad which includes the timeless copywriting line: "or for supper when something particularly dainty is wanted..." Many scholars believe this is the last time food was referred to as "dainty." Nancy, I will not rest until the entire OBC has been reassembled, annotated and digested. A hearty thanks for this invaluable contribution to medieval scholarship.


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Comment by vizma bruns on March 19, 2012 at 4:04am

A dick in a 'dickey'? I'm too frightened to google!! I hope there's an English/Icelandickey edition of this every month!! Your translation is brillo!

Comment by David Stafford on March 19, 2012 at 12:27am

Yeah, I think my grasp of Icelandic is pretty shaky....

Comment by Nancy Bell Scott on March 18, 2012 at 11:50pm

hahahahahahahahaha! Too many best lines to name. You get an award, David, whatever it is, for starting with "sometimes I feel like a motherless child" and on from there. The dickey (yah Lisa, from cold storage!?), the microbreweries, "Get it yourself, Dr. X"--where to stop? This is true love! 

Comment by DKeys on March 18, 2012 at 8:42pm

I'm absolutely positive this is better than the original!! a puce dickey sounds putrid

Comment by David Stafford on March 18, 2012 at 8:13pm

Okay, I've narrowed it down to Swedish, Norwegian, Danish or Bosnian. But here's my Icelandic translation. I believe I've included something here to offend everyone. Let me know if I've left anything out.


Comment by Nancy Bell Scott on March 18, 2012 at 7:21pm

Ok. Well, DaveSpeak IS the best ...

Comment by David Stafford on March 18, 2012 at 7:13pm

Will's definitely one of those Cheese Danish languages...I'm translating it into DaveSpeak as I type...


Comment by Nancy Bell Scott on March 18, 2012 at 7:07pm

I say that too, what you said in Spanish; thank you, et merci (to Janine). I thought it might be Norwegian for some reason and with zero evidence. David, can you stick a line on google translate? I forgot.

Comment by David Stafford on March 18, 2012 at 4:52pm

I'm thinking Icelandic. What say you, Nancy? Gracias por todas last palabras bueno...(really bad Spanish).


Comment by cheryl penn on March 18, 2012 at 2:49pm

O - this is sssoooo wonderful :-)!! From both of you! GREAT! :-) X

Whittled down words




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