Dec 24

We had a very good crop of sloes this year so I am laying down a number of bottles. I’m trying different proportions to see what I like. Laid down so far:

1/2 litre gin
250g sloes
200g sugar

1/2 litre gin
250g sloes
150g sugar

1/2 litre gin
250g sloes
100g sugar

1/2 litre gin
300g sloes
150g sugar

Method: Sugar is weighed and funnelled into the 75ml swing-top capped botle. Frozen berries are weighed out in a bowl, zapped 40 seconds in the microwave, and each is sliced with a scissors before putting into the bottle. Then gin (Cork Dry Gin in this case, which was cheap enough per litre in the 1.5 litre size used upside-down in pubs). I’ve labelled each bottle with the recipe and date of bottling.

Dec 03

While it would be nice if fortune went more hand-in-hand with fame, fame sometimes brings one a nice surprise. I often get inquiries from people looking into languages and writing systems, and sometimes those queries are really very interesting. Last night, I received a very nice request from a charming person from West Virginia whose initials are V.E.L., who was born in 1927ː

Good evening to you, sir. This may sound very stupid to you but I’m willing to take that chance to ask you a question; I’m 80 years old and, as a young kid, I remember my Mother telling me and my siblings that she could count to 20 in Cherokee. We, of course, memorized that stuff and still have most of it stored in the old noggin. It went like this; teen, tain, tether, fether, fimps, matha, latha, catha, doublo, beaudix, teendix, taindix, tetherdix, fetherdix, bumpus, teenbump, tainbump, tetherbump, fetherbump, jenkus. (1 to 20)

It turns out that the numbers one to ten in Cherokee really don’t have anything to do with the list which V.E.L. gave.

1 sa’wu
2 ta’li’
3 tsoː’i’
4 nvgi’
5 hiːsgi’
6 su’dali’
7 galoquoː’gi’
8 tsuneːla’
9 so’neːla’
10 sgo’hi’

So it’s not Cherokee.

Is there any possibility that there was any merit at all in this, or was she simply kidding with us? I have been under the impression that dix was possibly French for 10 and that, coupled with teen for 11, makes a little bit of sense to me. The spelling is just my idea of how the words sounded and I am not a linguist at all. If you can find time to respond, it will greatly appreciated.

I think there’s a good chance it’s Welsh. At least some of it is. It’s five and the shift after fifteen that clinch it for me.

W.Va. IPA Welsh IPA
1 teen tiːn un iːn
2 tain tɑɪn dau dɑɪ
3 tether ˈtɛðər tri triː
4 fether ˈfɛðər pedwar ˈpɛdwɑr
5 fimps fɪmps pemp pɛmp
6 matha ˈmɑθə chwech xwɛx
7 latha ˈlɑθə saith sɑɪθ
8 catha ˈkɑθə wyth wɪθ
9 doublo ˈduːblo naw nɑʊ
10 beaudix ˈboːdɪks deg deg
11 teendix ˈtiːndɪks un ar ddeg iːn ɑr ðeg
12 taindix ˈtɑɪndɪks deuddeg deɪðeg
13 tetherdix ˈtɛðərdɪks tri ar ddeg triː ɑr ðeg
14 fetherdix ˈfɛðərdɪks pedwar ar ddeg ˈpɛdwɑr ɑr ðeg
15 bumpus ˈbʌmpəs pymtheg ˈpɪmθeg
16 teenbump ˈtiːnbʌmp un ar bymtheg iːn ɑr ˈbɪmθeg
17 tainbump ˈtɑɪnbʌmp dau ar bymtheg dɑɪ ɑr ˈbɪmθeg
18 tetherbump ˈtɛðərbʌmp deunaw ˈdeɪnɑʊ
19 fetherbump ˈfɛðərbʌmp pedwar ar bymtheg ˈpɛdwɑr ɑr ˈbɪmθeg
20 jenkus ˈdʒɛŋkəs ugain ˈigɑɪn
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