Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Z ~ is for Zounds and zooks

Zeus  ~ when Princess Popoffski's secretary mentioned to Daisy Quantock that the medium would be leaving the next day for a week's holiday at the Royal Hotel in Brinton, Daisy explained that it was close to Riseholme. "The whole scheme flashed complete upon her, even as Athene sprang full-grown from the brain of Zeus." She promptly inquired if the Princess might be induced to spend a few days with her in Riseholme.   
Father of gods and men and the equivalent in Greek mythology of the Roman Jupiter, Zeus was the god of sky and thunder. The son of Cronus and Rhea, he was married to Hera and the father of many, including Ares, Athene, Apollo, Artemis, Dionysus, Hebe, Heracles, Hermes, Hephaestus, Minos, Persephone and  Perseus.

There are several versions of the birth of his daughter Athene or Athena, but in the commonest,  Zeus lay with Metis, the goddess of cunning and wisdom. Wanting to forestall the prophesy that her offspring would be more powerful than their father, he swallowed Metis, but he suffered a severe headache (possibly the earliest recorded migraine) and Athene leaped from the head of Zeus, fully grown and armed with a clarion call of war.  See Athene. 
Zingari ~ when Lucia was unanimously elected President of Tilling Cricket club, she promised to appear at a cricket match they had the next day against a team they called "the Zingari." Lucia remarked to Georgie that she hoped that they did not see her shudder, for as you know it should be "I Zingari": the Italian for "gipsies" (sic).

The English club was formed on 4 July 1845 by Old Harrovians Messrs. JL Baldwin, F and S Ponsonby and R Penruddocke Long when dining at the Blenheim Hotel in Bond Street. It was intended to foster the spirit of amateur cricket and is one of the oldest cricket clubs. It plays around 20 matches a year and is nomadic with no home ground. From 1867 until 2005, Wisden reported all of its matches.     

Zounds and zooks ~during the pageant on the Green in Riseholme when Lucia as Queen was just leaving the deck, the whole stern of the Golden Hind on which a sheep had been spit-roasted, broke off and fell into the pond with a fearful splash and hiss. Before anyone could laugh, Lucia broke into a ringing cry "Zounds and zooks! Thus will I serve the damned galleons of Spain" and, with a magnificent gesture, swept on.

Press reports singled this out as a wonderful piece of symbolism leading on to the coming of the Armada. This contrasted with the inevitability of a more prosaic response had Daisy Quantock retained the role of Elizabeth I and served only to increase Lucia's triumph.

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