The recent trip to Drottningholm reminded me of my 9th grade music teacher, who, in a completely misguided attempt to be pedagogical, explained to us that the strange word ”silleri” in Fredmans Epistel 48 that we ignorant youngsters might take to mean celery in fact referred to herring (”sill”). That herring, being a salt-water fish, would most likely not have been on a vegetable transport from Lovön in Lake Mälaren towards the Baltic, apparently passed her completely by.

As soon as I got hold of a etymological dictionary I double-checked and of course ”silleri” was just an 18th Century alternate spelling of ”selleri”. And what exactly would a ”sill-eri” really have been anyway—a herring preparation establishment?

Every so often I wish I could go back and yell “Bloody idiot!” at some of my teachers.

1 comment:

thnidu said...

In this case, "That's just silli!"