[LMB] bemused by bemused

Marc Wilson marc.wilson at gmx.co.uk
Fri Sep 4 13:05:39 BST 2015

On Thu, 03 Sep 2015 21:24:40 -0500 (CDT), Lois McMaster Bujold
<lbujold at myinfmail.com> wrote:

>(These things happen, to young heavy readers who pick it all up as they 
>go.  For a long time I thought "raddled" meant "degraded or diseased" 
>due to the tone of its delivery with, invariably, the term "raddled 
>whore" by a certain sort of archaic character.  An editor helpfully 
>enlightened me that it actually means "rouged".  I never would have 
>guessed that from context.)

"Raddle" is a (usually red) dye placed on the stomach of a ram, to
indicate which of the ewes he has... visited.

So, while it means "rouged" when applied to a person, it's a sort of
metaphor, and it also has a significant sexual undertone built in.

A fried of mine is, inter alia, a smallholder with several sheep up in
the Peak District.  Last time I dropped in, he was just coming in out of
the field, and said: "I need to wash my hands, I've just been putting
raddle on the tup."

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