Sunday, December 14, 2014

End of Year Writing Stats

The best training is to read and write, no matter what.  Don’t live with a lover or roommate who doesn’t respect your work. Don’t lie, buy time, borrow to buy time. Write what will stop your breath if you don’t write. —Grace Paley
End of year writing stats: this blog helps me keep track of my writing. It's often the only tangible evidence that I am still a writer, though most of the time I don't feel like a writer or a poet or a thinker. I suffer from the illusion of falling into the void of nihilism. I don't do many readings and almost no publishing. I don't even write every day (except on Facebook).

My generic goal is to average 52 poems (a poem a week) and I strive for a similar quantity of prose pieces. Some years I exceed my goals, other years I fail miserably. When I began this electronic writing process in August of 2007, I filed everything thematically. Well, that didn't work out so well. This year, I've tried to restore some semblance of chronological order. I've got a long ways to go, so my numbers are always in flux.

When I began this process, I also had misplaced ambitions of writing a blog piece a day. What was I thinking? I had read Guy Kawasaki's evangelical blog post, How to Change the World in 120 Days, in the Art of Blogging, April of 2006, and I founded this blog soon after, then let it lay fallow until mid-August of 2007. It's always a struggle to be productive. I was once more prolific a writer, but these days I take what I can get, wherever I can get it. Facecbook? so be it.

I probably have the poetry quota well met for this year as I have many haiku strings that I file as one item, though there may be as many as six or eight linked haiku in a file. But I tend to count them as one entry. And, I didn't even attempt to do NaPoWriMo, nor did I participate in April Poetry Month PAD, these two are where I usually stack up the writing bits. (Do I count the prose poems as poems too? I waffle, I waffle.)

I'm up to 85 pieces (not counting this one, I'm not sure I should count it as it's an open letter). Don't know if I'll make my self-imposed quota but I've still got several orphan bits and pieces to whip into shape. Much of my writing these days comes from interacting with friends and with strangers in Facebook groups—especially my prose and essays.

I guess if I were to include my 50 Amazon book reviews, I'll have met my prose quota as well, but though a lot of thought and analysis goes into the process, I don't consider it to be new writing—nor does it take one's breath away, as Grace Paley put it.

In general, my prose writing begins as a small nugget, then as I research and expand an idea, a day has slipped by, and I'm stuck wrestling long cephalopodic pieces into coherent shapes. Not always succeeding, I might add. Prose, where I seem to spend most of my time working on, is always difficult, but it also won't let me alone. I do read and write very day, no matter what. But rendering finished pieces is not always so easy. This dark craft. 

The blog format forces me to go back and wrest fragments into being. Maybe it's the fear and the tyranny of the printed page. Or maybe it's the thought that someone might actually read the pieces that motivates me.

I am especially grateful to those of you who visit this blog from time to time and leave comments. So I thank you all for your interactions. For keeping the home fires burning. Something I hold especially dear, as the process of writing is often akin to falling into the void.


Dear Google, Using Blogger is a Painful Experience

Dear Google,

It's become so painful to use Blogger that I often resist posting new work. I'm using Safari/Snow Leopard, and a wonky ATT DSL (read variable speed).

Before you lay all blame on my legacy Mac OS and low-end DSL, let me remind you that there was once a time when Google products really shone, they zipped right along, and loaded right up with even older software (Tiger, Safari 4.1). No waiting. Gmail was a dream. It just worked. That is why I embraced Google products. You might say I was evangelical—like Guy Kawasaki, who got me into this blogging mess to begin with.

Now, unless one has fast DSL and the latest Mac software, namely the latest Safari (I can't fault my zippy MacBookPro here), using Google products has become an unpleasant experience. I have complained and yowled long and mightily to you in the past, especially when you first rolled out this version of Blogger. But clearly no one at Google cares, or is listening. Blogger is long in tooth and in dire need of an overhaul. 

So once again I find myself writing into the void in the rare hopes that maybe someone at Google might actually read this plea and overhaul the painfully sluggish Blogger and and equally sluggish Gmail, and also ensure  that they still continue to work with older software.

I now am forced to use the classic Gmail in basic HTML as the current version Gmail won't even load with Safari 5.1.

I can't begin to tell you how many emails and Blogger posts I've lost due to Google software hanging somewhere between saving and uploading.

I mourn for those lost posts as I put considerable time and scholarship into them. One post I was able to rescue as it was cached on another open page. But usually I'm not so lucky. That particular rescued post just happens to be your number one post on on the Google search engine—The Viking-Irish Redhead Gene Myth. (Use "Viking redhead myth" for your search words).

Since Google products used to work just fine before you revised your suite, the blame can only lay square on you. You've designed fatally flawed software. In the process of trying to make it cool, you've sunk your flagship with too many bells and whistles and not kept enough elegant structure—for which you were once justly famous for. I expected so much more of you, Google. 

When I say Blogger is painfully slow, it's not hyperbole. When I load the Blogger dashboard, I get a white page, and it hangs for five or more minutes or more before I can get to the post icon to write. By that time, I could care less.

For example, I have some screenshots I wish to share with you and I can't upload them, because, yes, they're hanging. Again. (So far, third time is not a charm...just sayin'. Forget about multiple images, I'm lucky to load one image to load at a time.)

My Blogger experience is punctuated by these white windows hanging for as long as 2 to 5 minutes each. Sometimes they hang forever. Loading and loading and loading.
I spend too much time watching this spinning cursor. This is where things can go horribly wrong if it's the first save and publish.
This is is a particularly devilish window, because even if you hit the dismiss button, sometimes the screen goes white and there's no text at all. All my hard work gone. Poof!
Oh, and about loading photos, this is a particularly slow loading page, that blue loading bar typically gets stuck, and most of the options are hidden behind white expanses. I had to find the right buttons by trial and error.
Photos typically hang when I do get this far. It generally takes me 3 to 5 tries to upload photos. Notice that the drop down list under MORE is invisible.

Your bloatware is worse than Microsoft Word. Rethink the process Google. You know the adage: KISS (Keep it simple, stupid/sweetie).

Don't even get me started on Google+, I literally cannot use the site which is linked to my other email account—and in this case, Safari is not to blame, as I use the latest beta Firefox for that account. Because it is so buggy, I've pretty much had to abandon my Google+ account. Luckily, I've found a way to access my old legacy Gmail and Picasa albums, otherwise they're as good as lost to me under Google+

I am also cross-posting this note on my Blogger page, because it is patently clear that you do not actually listen to customer feedback from your "Report a Problem" button. So I put this plea out to you, warts and all. And I challenge you to do a better job next time, when you do overhaul Gmail and Blogger. 

Your latest slate of programmers have done Google a grave disservice, and by extension, your (formally) fiercely loyal customers as well, by designing such flawed software, that you leave legacy folks in the dust. Bells and whistles are merely that, and if they interfere with the bones of the program, in the form of bloatware, then you need to rethink your strategy. Sometimes cool is not very cool. Whatever were you thinking, Google? 

A disgruntled writer....

Saturday, December 13, 2014



In deep summer, when luminescent 
plankton washed ashore, 
we used to head out to Goat Rock 
and drink cheap wine under a full moon. 
We'd scrawl our names in the sand, 
glowing, magical script in blue starlight,
until dawn broke and spoiled it all.


Friday, December 12, 2014

Knee Therapy

Today, my knee doctor gave me double injections of steroids for pain, thus causing me even more pain. I threatened to slug him, and then nearly passed out. It felt like I was sucker-punched in the stomach. Burning hole. Like a case of the bends. Then I was head-spinning and frog-barking. Corker burps that a 12-year-old boy would turn green with envy to be able to pull off in public. Nothing quite like a case of the pre-heaves. All the frogs were answering me back in the parking lot. It was raining like hell. Pineapple Express. Atmospheric river. How deep is the water? Knee-deep said the frogs. So much for running errands afterwards. I was entertaining a chorus of millions.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Why I Teach, or Why I am a Writer, final draft

due 12/13 SAT  5 min presentation/performance.

It's hard to choose between teaching and writing
each process informs the other.
See, I was an artist before I became a poet.
I was a poet before I started teaching kids art,
but I was also literary jailbait. It was a bootstrap affair.
 I arrived late to poetry all out of breath,
with things to say and nowhere to channel them.
I was a bad student in high school and college.
Least likely to succeed. I couldn't keep what I learned.
It was like a hive of bees swarming inside my head.
Stinging my tongue so I couldn't speak.

I didn't know the parts of speech, but I loved to read.
Art was my saving grace, I found my passion,
or, rather, I found something I could excel at.
I had no idea I was dyslexic, I hid my secret from the world,
wondered what was wrong inside my head. Those angry bees.
Because I read voraciously to escape the grim world,
no one tested me for learning disabilities. They called it laziness.

I was in 3rd grade before I learned to read. I remember the day.
A blue sky filled with whorls and a pinging sound
like champagne bubbles bursting. But it was all about fucking Dick
with that goody-two-shoes Jane and their stupid dog, Spot.
So I tuned out for the next nine years. It was the 60s.

At college I took bonehead classes for dummies.
In grade school, I was already labeled: Not college material.
My counselor steered me towards the typing pool and teaching.
I was a recalcitrant student. Mule-stubborn, I refused to learn to type.
I’d give my eye teeth now for that skill. At best, I’m a 4-fingered typist.

But then, my counselor disappeared, it was during the 70s,
the school misplaced my SAT scores and aptitude tests.
So I took advanced Biology 1A and English 1A classes.
The first half of the semester I failed miserably at both,
but then, mid-semester, both my teachers were replaced.

My biology teacher was nearly killed in a plane crash,
my English teacher ran off to bicycle across Europe,
(and then married my classmate, Adar Lara).
It was the early 70s, everybody was busy finding themselves).

Mid-semester, my teachers were both replaced by radical women,
and I began to excel. It was also the birth of Women's Studies.
Our teachers were Joanne Griffin, sex worker Margo St. James, of COYOTE,
Gloria Steinem, our guru-goddess, and Our Bodies, Ourselves, our tome.
Experimental behavioral psychology: BF Skinner, Konrad Lorenz. Imprinting.
We began to de-program the past to fit our future.

But back to Biology and English, I went from failing the courses
to receiving As and Bs. My counselor couldn't figure it out.
He scratched his head. Other than the fact that I scored high
at the likelihood of becoming a Spanish-speaking nun scientist
like Sor Juana de la Cruz, those tests weren't much help.
I was allergic to religion. According to my SAT test scores,
I shouldn't have taken those 1A classes—and yet, I passed with flying colors.
I was straddling genres. And clearly, I didn't test well. That much was certain.

I adored my biology teacher, Dr. Fatt from Finland,
who told us stories about her Siamese cat. 
The dark fur on their extremities is sensitive to cold—
So she strapped frozen sponges onto the cat's white belly,
and the poor kitty's tummy fur turned black.
She taught us through stories and by cause and effect.
She tested the territorial behavior of stickleback fishes.
Proved that they saw red when presented with something red.
She teased them with red things like they were little bulls.
Even though bulls are colorblind, and can't see red,
it didn’t matter. The stories stayed with me.

I don't remember if the English teacher told us stories,
but I do remember Dan Niblock, sang "Geordie" during class.
I was mesmerized. I loved Irish and English ballads.
When Vic Damone’s daughter sang My Funny Valentine
I got the chills. Finally—an opening wide enough to let me in.
We entered the English literary tradition via ballads and song.
Writing papers was my nemesis. I had to cut and paste everything.
But the ballads told stories. The teacher must've broken the mold.

Shakespeare’s plays led me to the theater department,
so while I pursued an AA in art, I was also enmeshed in theater.
Too shy to try out for parts, I designed costumes, painted stage sets.
My theater classmates moved onto Julliard (Robin Williams, James Harper,
Joel Blum, Anni Long, Mark Rasmussen). Theater was not my calling.

(My mother was a costume designer/actress, so the stars of stage and screen including Tommy Smothers, Lloyd Bridges, and Sterling Hayden were my babysitters). I was also allergic to the tinsel promise of Hollywood’s pipe dreams.

It was time to leave the idyllic nest and graduate to the next stage of life.
It was more like being kicked out kicking and screaming, but that's another story.
What was my calling? What was my passion. I loved art, but it didn’t feed me enough. Angry clouds of words buzzed in my head with nowhere to go.

Meanwhile we were still protesting the Vietnam war, practicing civil disobedience— ours was the only high school in the nation to make the 6 O'Clock News, and the cover of Time Magazine. Our class president, Jared Rossman, baby brother to Mark, who was Abby Hoffman's left-hand man. And yes, I was there in Sproul Plaza, witnessing the famous Free Speech movement. Didn’t understand a thing. Older brothers and sisters boarded that Greyhound bus at the San Anselmo Theological Seminary, to march on Selma, Alabama. Some were drafted, and some never came back. The times, they were indeed a-changin'.

And now we're back at it again. Oscar Grant is not forgotten in this town. Eric Garner and Mike Brown. The new martyrs. I despair. I live equidistant between Oakland and Berkeley and every night the enraged air vibrates with 'choppers circle overhead like we were back in 'Nam…. Anger swarms at the crossroads.
But I’m off task. I applied to San Francisco State, but the shock of urban culture and casual violence undid me. It was still a time of protests, riots, chain gangs, a murder in the men’s room, and a girl raped in the library stacks; for comic relief, there was this guy dressed in tinfoil, selling plots on the moon. I might as well have been on the moon for what it was worth.

The art department was dismal. The painter who I was to study with, Wayne Thiebaud, took a year off. Bob Bechtle had us painting 2-inch squares from Monkey Ward catalogues. Outhouse work. Helene Aylon was experimenting with the razor edges of art—we were way beyond dada, we were shit-deep into the theater of the absurd. Julian Beck, Ann Halprin, and the Committee were our tabula rosa. The art building was condemned, so we painted murals on the walls to prove we were there, and watched the demolition ball swing. We were also homeless.

So, I split to Sonoma State. I should've guessed things weren't going to go smoothly at Granola State. The art department was dismal. So there I was, once again, without anchor, without a mentor I could respect. Sonoma State was in the process of being built, so we were shoved in the basement of Darwin Hall. Art and science were rigidly divided. There was no community. Perhaps that’s why I gravitated to poetry. But I didn’t know how to write.

During my first years of becoming functionally literate, it was a bootstrap effort,  I learned by doing. Then I was in a car accident and when I was tested for motor skill coordination, I failed. It was a relief to know that there was some odd wiring in my head. And it had a name: dyslexia. It gave me a doorway to access my thought processes. The bi-cameral mind. I just had to figure out how to break down the door and enter the house of memory.

From there, I was able to unravel that tangled morass of thought and memory and put information into my head so I could (sometimes) retrieve it. One must begin with what is interesting. What is interesting? Stories. After hearing Gary Snyder read stories of my home at Olney Hall, I said: I can do that, and I began to write.
The personal story and rant of Beat poetry was relevant, like the stories and ballads of my childhood, like the things my grandmother told me again and again. My mother was nuts, her stories needed extensive retranslation, so I was raised by my Irish grandmother, who was a bearer of an ancient oral tradition. I had a foot in both worlds.

But I was hungry for synthesis and I drifted into an experimental cross-discipline cluster school, Expressive Arts. And there I found community and my life's calling. Not one arts discipline, but many. We were an ongoing psychology experiment, there was no dividing line between teachers and students: Jack Crimmins, Fred Curchack, Elizabeth Herron, Mac McCreary, Red Thomas (who founded SSU and taught us to “follow your passion”), and guest speakers including Natalie, and Carl Rogers. We learned that our vocation is the place where passion meets the world’s hunger.

Honing my craft, I also attended poetry workshops. One summer, we crashed Port Townsend's Centrum Foundation, slept in abandoned barracks, and on beaches. Sharon Doubiago, Tobey Kaplan, Leonard Cirino and I went to sit at the feet of Meridel LeSeuer. The Centrum Foundation tried to throw us out, we were personae non grate—but Meridel said: The California poets stay, or I go. Showdown. And so we did. Sharon read from her manuscript, Hard County. Meridel said it HAD to be published, and so it happened. All those craft lectures began to filter down and settle into the crevices of my brain. I learned by osmosis.
Because I was working for alternative newspapers, I attended the Napa Valley Poetry Conference, as a photojournalist, and then I began to sneak into the workshops. Dave Evens, the director, knew I had no money so we traded photos to study poetry with the greats: my teachers were Carolyn Forché, Galway Kinnell, Gerald Stern, Carolyn Kizer, Robert Pinsky, Robert Hass, Steve Kowitt, Linda Gregg (whom I went to grade school with), and Jane Hirshfield (who was my co-poet at CPITS). They were my tribe. It was a long time coming, but I finally found out where I belonged.

One spring, we all ran off to the Bahamas to create the first and last international Napa Valley poetry conference. Through the workshops, I was meeting poets from across America, and abroad, exposed to myriad voices. The Bahamian voice, so like our own home-speak. Poetry didn’t have to be about the ivory towers of academe, it was also the language of the street. Poetry was a secret language, a form of code switching.

I also began to travel, because I was teaching Sonoma County history and poetry, I landed in the USSR, carrying art and poetry both directions. I was an accidental ambassador, giving readings, teaching poetry in Soviet schools, and translating poetry. I never meant for any of  it to happen. Time and place and circumstance.
I brought the books of Larry Ferlinghetti and Dave Eggers to the USSR. The Soviets didn’t know what to make of this free form writing. Poetry rhymed! These were forbidden books. 

But who knew Dr. Zhivago was the mother lode? The Soviets were a hundred years behind the times in poetry. I carried back new Soviet poems from Chernobyl, and rough translations from the White Square. We published Soviet Poetry Since Glasnost in tamizdat editions. Then, poetry of the Eastern Bloc, and Mother Africa. I was consumed. A fire burning in my head.
The free form process of poetry allowed me to express myself, I had something to say—and a way to say it. Before that, I was mute, afraid to speak out, afraid to be wrong. And yet, there I was…

It took another decade for me to fully arrive as a writer. Prose was never my strong suit. Because I worked as a photographer, I found myself writing captions, and soon I was writing poet interviews, and art reviews and other stories followed. For someone who couldn't write, and had no organizational skills inside the head, it was a huge achievement.

Then one day, I found myself standing in front of a class of kids teaching poetry. I wanted the ground to swallow me up whole, like right now. Teaching. Me. Imagine. I was the one who was least likely to become a writer, let alone, a teacher.

Because poetry became my lifeline, I hosted poetry readings, art openings in Sonoma County. Because I also needed money, I trained as a poet through California Poets in the Schools, and taught at multi-arts residencies funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. I had seven California Arts Council artist in schools grants in Santa Rosa, and a pilot project at the client library at Napa State Hospital. I was teaching painting, drawing, and calligraphy to students with learning disabilities similar to my own.

I was a bad student in school.
Least likely to succeed.
I couldn't keep what I learned.
A hive of bees swarming inside my head.
Stinging my tongue so I couldn't speak.

When I realized there were so many kids who were like me, no sense of belonging, no sense of achievement. There was something that they could excel at. Poetry. I realized that poetry saves lives. It saved me because in poetry there was no one right answer. It was the "begin anywhere" approach that saved me. It didn't matter how my brain was wired. I jumped in, and blindly thrashed around, and shape began to emerge from the chaos. And all this time, I realized those angry bees in my head were gathering nectar from the gods of poetry. There was a divine purpose, and I was the last to know.

Poet-activist Muriel Rukyeser wrote: the universe is made of stories, not atoms. And it was the stories that led me to my calling. I was following all the stories home, like a well worn cowpath to the heart of the barn. It was also the most political thing I could do.

Our Stories- Creativity, Writing and Storytelling for Educators class at Alameda County Office of Education, Aimee Suzara, instructor  (FWIW, I think she didn't like it, as she tried to hurry me though the piece during performance time on Dec 13. It sort of pissed me off. It was rude and unprofessional, and it threw me off my final paragraph. My imagined audience was a TEDtalk, so it was long. She did ask for a manifesto. How to shorten a life of 62 years and make it fit into a 5 minute slot when my half-life is far different than that of my classmates? I could'
ve cheated and used one of the poems, but I took her seriously when she said manifesto. But the more I tried to shorten it, the longer it got. FWIW, no one adhered to the 5-minute length, and we talked about it being ok to go over time. 

I've left out the two revisions as the changes were minor.

rev 12/12/14
& 12/23/14

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Lindisfarne Gospels are Insular art, not Anglo-Saxon art

Folio 27r, Lindisfarne Gospels with incipit from the Gospel of Matthew. —Wiki

A Facebook site I dearly love,, posts scholarly papers on the the medieval world. Sometimes I find myself disagreeing with posts, and misleading headlines, and then, the next thing ya know, I'm posting a comment that turns into a lively rant (and several hours later, when I've come up for air, I've got what amounts to a bit of a blogeen—not that I usually bother to post them here).

What got my lather all whipped into a fine froth this morning was that, posted "A very beautiful Anglo-Saxon manuscript." I saw red....this is what ensued:

"Chi-Rho" monogram, the Gospel of Matthew—Wiki

Go hailin. Indeed the Lindisfarne Gospels are very beautiful Irish-Anglo-Saxon, or, more correctly, a joint Hiberno-Saxon manuscript, illuminated in the Irish style, The Lindisfarne Gospels, like the (later) Book of Kells, were once considered to be a relic of St. Columba. Calling it Anglo-Saxon art is to do it a disfavor; it's a much more cosmopolitan manuscript than that.

The Celtic monastery of Lindisfarne was founded in 635 AD, by Columban Irish monk Saint Aidan (d.651), from the Isle of Iona. Irish monks founded Celtic monasteries on most of the British, Scottish, and Irish islands, and Columban Irish scribes would've trained Saxon scribes in the the insular Irish style—right down to the red lead dots surrounding the letters (the Durham Gospels, and the Book of Durrow, being its predecessors). But first, the Irish monks had to convert the Saxons....

The beginning of the Gospel of Mark from the Book of Durrow.—Wiki

The Lindisfarne manuscript, an illustrated Latin copy of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, was probably made at Lindisfarne, but it could've been made elsewhere, even Iona, as it has an Iona connection. The text is also written in (Irish) insular script.

The problem with tagging this manuscript as Anglo-Saxon, is that it's virtually impossible to tell the difference between Irish, Welsh, Scottish, and Anglo-Saxon illuminated manuscript art, because they were all created in Celtic Irish monasteries between 500-900; later in Ireland, to 1400 AD), and they share far too many similarities. It was also an incestuously small world.

A "safer" nomenclature would be to label these illuminated manuscripts as "insular." Ditto for the continental manuscript, also created in Celtic monasteries founded by Irish monks. (See "List of Hiberno-Saxon illuminated manuscripts" at bottom of page.)

And most 'scholars' writing of these things never delve beyond the current political border of a country when describing where an artifact was discovered, or attributed to, when labeling art. If it was made in St. Gallen, ergo it must be Swiss; or in Bobbio, it's Italian (Irish monasteries!)

The St. Gall Gospel Chi-Rho page, written by Irish monks ca. 750AD—from Irish Medieval History 
Irish manuscripts often display the first three letters, Chi-Rho-Iota, from the Greek ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ, as a monogram. In the Latin Vulgate, it reads: "[Christi (XPI) autem generatio sic erat…  Note the distinctive long left leg on the Chi/X—also found in the Book of Kells, Book of Durrow, St. Gallen Gospel, MacDurnan Gospels, Book of Lindisfarne and many more. The long "i"pronunciation in Christ, is a result of Irish missionary work in England during the 7th - 8th c.—from Irish Medieval History 

Some slovenly writer described this manuscript as an amalgam of Anglo-Saxon, Irish and German art—WTF? I couldn't figure out how/why Germany—then it dawned on me, they were referring to manuscripts found in Germany, made by Irish monks. And archaeologists tend to be even sloppier. Sometimes I wonder if they know any history at all.

Eagle-eyed John the Evangelist Wiki 

Some background on Lindisfarne, founded in 632, according to the Annals of the 4 Masters; modern articles say 635 AD. It was also the age of writing fancy Vitae to one's patron saints.

The three Lindisfarne bishops who followed the Irish founder, St. Aiden of Iona (590-651), were all Irish-born: St. Finan, St. Colmán, St. Tuda—43 years later, Eata, apparently he was not saintly fodder, but he was St. Aiden's student, and the first native Northumbrian bishop (678-685); then St. Cuthbert (though born in Scotland, he was also from the Cult of St. Columba school).

From what I can tell, St. Eadberht was the second ever Northumbrian bishop—he put up lead walls and a lead roof on the thatched oak church, I bet many monks were very grateful.

And then we get to oor man, St. Eadfrith (also a fine Northumbrian, b.?, who was bishop from 688-98) who was possibly the artist and scribe...the manuscripts are attributed to him, but they could've also been commissioned by him.

A little backstory: Things were not all hunky-dory between the Saxons and the Irish just because Christianity gained a tiny toehold, and the Lindisfarne monastery was established, ca. 635. Oswald of Northumbria, a king living in exile since 616, vowed to bring Christianity to pagan Northumbria. In 634, when he gained the crown of Northumbria, he invited St. Columba's monks to establish a monastery.

But things were still pretty woolly. In 683, the Saxons raided Magh Breg in ireland and took hostages. In 684, Eadfrith's contemporary, St. Adamnán (624-704), St. Columba's distant cousin and Abbot of Iona (679-704)... 
...went to Saxon Land, to request a restoration of the prisoners which the North Saxons had carried off from Magh Breagh the year before mentioned. He obtained a restoration of them, after having performed wonders and miracles before the hosts; and they afterwards gave him great honour and respect, together with a full restoration of everything he asked of them. —Annals of the 4 Masters
 (These were the apocalyptic plague years. After nearly all the children and animals died, I imagine any kind of miracles were welcome—including Columban monks walking across the Irish Sea to Scotland, it was that cold. But at least the cold snap must've killed off the plague fleas.)

Portrait of the artist benched as Matthew the Evangelist —Wiki

A century after Lindisfarne was abandoned because of repeated viking raids, a colophon was added to the Lindisfarne Gospels by a self-serving scribe and provost, Aldred the Glossator, who penned Anglo-Saxon glosses under the Latin text, between 950 and 970, and then he graffitied on the text that Eadfrith was the scribe and artist responsible for the work—some 150-70 years later... Lead-poisoning aside, there must've been some librarian apoplexy in the wings. Stories do change. There was also a viking raid or two in the way as well.
it is only from Aldred’s inscription that we presume Eadfrith created the manuscript and another monk, Billfrith, its original binding. Margaret Walker, The Lindisfarne Gospels: A Living ManuscriptUniversity of Edinburgh Postgraduate Journal of Culture and the Arts
But the illuminated mss. was probably a commission produced in honor of St. Cuthbert (634-687). It was probably made ca. 700, most scholars suggest 715, but Eadfrith died in 721—presumably while still in office, of old age as did most bishops—with their boots on (it was a very good gig). If so, then he probably didn't scribe the manuscripts himself, as he also commissioned three books on the Life of Saint Cuthbert as well. Calligraphy and advanced old age don't mix well—too many hand tremors, not to mention a profound loss of eyesight.

Carpet page: possibly based on early Coptic manuscripts depicting Islamic prayer rugs. Can you see the embedded cross?—Wiki

The next bishop, (last) St. Æthelwold of Lindisfarne (721- 740), took the raw manuscripts that St. Eadfrith had prepared (note the word "raw"), had them bound and gilded, and commissioned a jewel-encrusted gold cover made by St. Billfrith (ca. 8th c.), which the Dane-vikings literally ripped iff, of course.

The Lindisfarne Gospels had to wait until 1852 to get another decent cover.  But that's another story. And this is the end of my story.

Gospel of St. Luke—Wiki 

The Old English name, Lindisfarena, was not recorded until 793, probably from the Irish (lin/d-pool/stream); the 9th c. Welsh Historia Brittonum, records Lindisfarne as Medcaut; the term Holy isle/Insula Sacra was commonly used until the 11th century, and is alternatively used to this day. Cumbria, northern Umbria, Lothian and the Kingdom of Strathclyde formed the diocese of Lindisfarne.

DISCLAIMER: My sources, alas, are from Wiki—yes, not very scholarly, you might sniff—but that's merely my jumping-off point. Call it an opinion piece, if you must. Besides, there are always myriad references listed at the bottom of the pages if you want to do your own fact-checking. And the images are in public domain! I try and fill in the missing links, but I often view 20-30 pages before i settle in with an idea, so sometimes it's hard to go back and reconstruct all the links.

This is my first blog draft (I figure I must go through 20 mini drafts before a piece even reaches this stage...and still it isn't done). I can only write through the process, purl-blind; I can't get distance to see what it needs until I get to this stage. I envy those writers who make neat little outlines and plug in the info. My mind is far too convoluted, tied up in Celtic knots, as it were. Sometimes I think I take thes things on in order to learn what I need/want about a particular subject, but the path is never straightforward.


PDF link: Margaret Walker, The Lindisfarne Gospels: A Living ManuscriptUniversity of Edinburgh Postgraduate Journal of Culture and the Arts

Lindisfarne Gospels

St Cuthbert Gospel

Book of Kells

Aidan of Lindisfarne

St. Adamnán of Iona

Adamnán: Life of St. Columba
 St. Cuthbert

Merovingians notes

Olaf the Peacock's Irish Mother

ANNALS OF THE 4 MASTERS (many dates are about 3 years off...)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

York is not a Norse name, it was called Eboricum


York comes from Norse Jorvik? I thought it came from the Latin, "Eboricum", and before that, from a Celtic place name. York is most definitely not a Norse placename, it is a Norse pronunciation of a much older placename, Eboricum, founded in 71 AD, the Roman legionary fortress and capital of Brittania Inferior, when the Ninth Legion conquered the Brigantes. During Anglo-Saxon times, it was known as the trading port of Eoforwic.
The word York (from Old Danish Jórvík 9th century AD) derives from the Latinised name for the city, variously rendered as Eboracum, Eburacum or Eburaci. The first mention of York by this name is dated to circa 95–104 AD as an address on a wooden stylus tablet from the Roman fortress of Vindolanda in Northumberland. —Wiki
The old Brittonic name was probably Eburacon which was Latinized as Eburacum (with the same vowel quantities and stress sounds as the Brittonic pronunciation).
It is thought that Eboracum is derived from the Brythonic word Eborakon, a combination of eburos "yew-tree" (cf. Old Irish ibar "yew-tree", Welsh efwr "alder buckthorn", Breton evor "alder buckthorn") and suffix *-āko(n) "place" (cf. Welsh -og) meaning either "place of the yew trees" (cf. efrog in Welsh, eabhrac in Irish Gaelic and eabhraig in Scottish Gaelic, by which names the city is known in those languages); or less probably, Eburos, 'property', which is a personal Celtic name mentioned in different documents as Eβουρος, Eburus and Eburius, and which, combined with the same suffix *-āko(n), could denote a property. —Wiki
The Classical Latin spelling was Eburacum; the alternate spelling Eboracum reflects the Vulgar Latin change of u to o; but the stress remained on the sound. Some of the earlier instances of Eboracum mentioned in Ptolemy may be 'corrections' by later copyists, reflecting a shift in language sounds. Bede, writing in the 8th century, used both spellings. Besides, exact spelling was a relative concept even during Shakespeare's time.

That Norse J in Jorvik is trying to simulate a Celtic eu sound (as in ewe tree)—there was no y letter. In Irish orthography, the pronunciation and written Irish are not identical, nor do the sounds correlate with English pronunciation rules. They are closest to Latin, with their own peculiar twists of lenited vs long sounds. For example, the letters b and v within a word in Irish tend to gather a swallowed ya sound, or sometimes a w sound, like Samhain (Sowen). But there was no Y or W in the Irish alphabet.

What I found on the internet:

Yew in Old Irish is written as ibar/ibhar and (edad, edhadh), from Old Irish é(o). meaning either the tree or the weapon. Another Irish word for yew, is eo.

"W" is unknown to Latin or Greek writing. Old Irish, the language of the earliest sources in the Latin alphabet, takes place during the 6th century. Long before the Vikings came to York, I might add.

The morpheme aco /a:ko/ denoting a "place" still survives in modern Welsh as -og (earlier -awg).

There is debate as to the meaning of the root ebur(o)-. Some people insist that it is an old root meaning "yew" (Old Irish ibhar is glossed as 'taxus'), and thus Eburacum is "place of yews".

But Ebruros is also attested as a personal name in Gaul, so some think it meant: "Eburos' estate". On the balance the evidence seems to favor "place of yews", but it is not certain.

If the Romano-British name had been taken over by the English, then the modern English (after Norman spelling 'deforms') would be something like: Everock. And certainly not Jorvik.

See Theiling Online Conlang: From Eburacon to York  (Most of my linguistic bits came from this list-serve post by Ray Brown.

And I used:

The Irish Archaeological and Celtic Society: Irish Glosses, 1860

York - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I found the PDF edition of the Celtic Guide magazine that spawned this mini rant. It's the November 2013 issue (vol 2, Issue 11; Celtic York, p. 12. It's a painfully slow-loading page.

CELTIC YORK  Author/editor is Jim McQuiston

Back in 1999, on my very first trip to Scotland, I sat with my son in an Irish pub in the middle of the town of York, England. As if that wee bit ‘o juxtaposition wasn’t enough, the duo that was performing was playing American folk rock type music. I remember, in the middle of their take on the Eagle’s ‘Desparado” how my son commented on the strangeness of it all. The crowd, however, was enthusiastically singing “You better let somebody love you,” as we snickered at the sight . . . and sound.

The York street, shown above, is known as Shambles Street and that is not an optical illusion. The buildings were built to lean inward, supposedly to block the hot sun from ruining butcher’s meat hanging along the walkway. During that period there were no hygiene laws as exist today, and so guts and the like were thrown into a gutter in the middle of the street. Today, any scene of total disorganization and mess is thus referred to as being “in shambles”.

I suspect many an Irish or Scottish person has sat and listened to Americanized versions of their music somewhere in the ‘states’ and thought, “Ach, this is not how it’s supposed to sound! These crazy Americans.”

Yorkshire was populated by Celts pre- and post-Roman invasion. The same thing happened again during the Anglo-Saxon invasion.

York is not far from the ‘Scottish’ border and it now seems more obvious to me that there should be a large amount of Celtic influence in that region. In fact, there was!

An army of Vikings invaded the Yorkshire area, in 866 AD. The Vikings conquered what is now modern day York and renamed it Jórvík, from where the modern name comes.

It seems, in fact, Yorkshire has seen as much Celtic and Viking influence as just about any part of Scotland or Ireland.

On Rabbits and Linguistics

On a linguistics forum, a user with the handle Maciamo wrote: "Quite a few [Wallonian] words have direct Germanic roots."

If Maciamo hadn't used the word "roots," I would've never even flinched. But I'd just read a long treatise on a Facebook site, Irish Medieval History, and had spent an afternoon tracking down all manner of leads on rabbits—double-checking their information. The Irish have no word for a rabbit nor do the English or the Germans! 
In Irish coinín (kun een) is the word used for a rabbit. It derives from the Latin “cunīculus”. Similarly in English the word used was “coney” which was correctly pronounced like the Irish as “cunny”. Rabbits were not native to northern Europe which is why there was no Germanic or Celtic word for them.
Well, I wanted to share my wealth of new-found knowledge (see below). I even joined Eupedia, a feat that took far too long, only to find that I couldn't post a comment anyway. So I'm posting it here.

conén (or conin) => rabbit/lapin (Danish/Norwegian/Swedish = "kanin", Dutch = "konijn", German = "Kaninchen")
robète => another Walloon word for rabbit (from Middle Dutch "robbe", obviously sharing a root with the English "rabbit")
Maciamo, you erroneously assumed that because there are similarities between certain Germanic words and Walloon words, ergo, Walloon borrowed words from the German, or the Dutch.

In the case of coney, or rabbit, you couldn't be more wrong. I suspect your other examples wouldn't hold up to close linguistic scrutiny either.

Both are loan words—as Iberian coneys/rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) were not native to northern Europe. (Hispania, from the Phoenician, means 'the land of rabbits.') There is no native word for coney or rabbit in Celtic or Teutonic, nor mention of coney or rabbit in England before the Norman period.

You need to trace words back to their earliest sources before you can make that kind of declarative statement. Had you done your homework, you would've discovered that rabbits are not native to northern Europe and that the words (and rabbits) were borrowed from iberia.

The word robète does NOT sharing a root with the English word for rabbit, because that too was borrowed from the Latin. There were no native rabbits in Britain, they arrived during the 12th c. with the Normans. Rabbits were first domesticated by monks during the 5th c. in what is now France. (And the word ‘rabbit,’ from the French, means a young conin, or coney.)

OED a. A rabbit: formerly the proper and ordinary name, but now superseded in general use by rabbit, which was originally a name for the young only.

TheFreeDictionary:[Middle English coni, from Old French conis, pl. of conil, from Latin cunculus, possibly from cunnus,cunus, female pudenda.]

Coney used to rhyme with bunny, was a slang term for a red-light district, so it fell out of favor, so to speak.

English Language & Usage: OFr. conil, connil, cogn. w. Pr. conil, Sp. conejo, Pg.coelho, Ital. coneglio:-L. cunīcul-us rabbit, according to ancient authors a word of Spanish origin. The OFr. pl. (with l suppressed) coniz, later conis, gave an Eng. pl. conys, conies, and this a singular cony, conie. The ME. cunin, konyne, conyng was a. OFr. conin, connin, Anglo-Fr. coning, a parallel form to conil, which gave also MDutch conijn, Dutch konijn, and, with a for o, LG. kanîn, whence mod.G. dim. kaninchen. In Eng. the form cunyng, cunning came down to the 16th c.; but from the 12th c. onward it varied also with cunig, conig, connyg.

It has no native name in Celtic or Teutonic, and there is no mention of it in England before the Norman period; in the quotations the fur, perhaps imported, appears before the animal. The Welsh cwning, cwningen, is from ME.; the Irish coinnín, and Gaeliccoinean, coinein from ME. or AFr." 

I had posted this to Irish Medieval History:
An interesting morsel. So they're desert creatures. Sounds like the Romans bought them to Britain which would go a long way in explaining the Latin loan word. So, what did the Iberian Celts call rabbits, not conejo. (I wondered why Iberia was referred to as the land of hyraxes (shaphan/ rock-badgers), it appears that there's a common thread.

Cunny rhymes with bunny...(and the words rabbit means little cunnys...) This opens up a whole new line of questions for rabbit folklore. How many of you say "white rabbit" before you get out of bed, during the first day of the month?

And what about hares? Were they also called cunnys?
"...The European rabbit, widely kept in ancient Rome native to southwestern Europe (Spain and Portugal) and northwest Africa (Morocco and Algeria).... first recorded by the Phoenicians prior to 1000 BC, when they termed the Iberian Peninsula i-shaphan-ím (the land of the hyraxes). This phrase closely resembles modern Hebrew: i (אי) meaning island and shafan (שפן) hyrax, plural shfaním (שפנים). Phoenicians called the rabbits 'hyraxes' because hyraxes resemble rabbits, and were more common than rabbits in the Levant. One theory states that Romans converted the phrase i-shaphan-ím, with influence from the Greek Spania, to its Latin form, Hispania, which evolved into the modern Spanish word España. 
...they were first introduced to Britain by the Romans following their invasion of the British isles in AD 43. 
Portuguese National Authorities have classified the rabbit as Near Threatened in Portugal, whilst Spanish authorities recently reclassified the rabbit as Vulnerable in Spain."
Then, there are hares, is there a different word for hare? Or were they conflated as one species? re: While rabbits burrow (not sure that they had to learn to burrow—it seems they already knew how to burrow, but...

Lesley, I think your burrowing information is conflated with that of hares. "All rabbits live underground in burrows or warrens, while hares live in simple nests above the ground. Hares do not bear their young below ground in a burrow as do other leporids, but rather in a shallow depression or flattened nest of grass called a form. 
...In Irish folklore, the hare is often associated with Sidh...
The hare has given rise to local place names. An example in Scotland is 'Murchland', the Scots word for a hare being 'murchen"
I found this: Murchen 'hare' in Scots Gaelic. But it was an odd site.
European Hares: "They may have been introduced to Britain in prehistoric times. ... bucks are fertile all year round except during October and November." (Nae baws!)
"The words "rabbit", "hare", or "coney" (is translated as) hyrax in some English translations of the Bible. Early English translators had no knowledge of the hyrax (Hebrew: shaphan), and therefore no name for them. There are references to hyraxes in the Old Testament, particularly in Leviticus 11, where they are described as lacking a split hoof and therefore being not kosher. The NIV translation incorrectly claims that the hyrax chews its cud. Some modern translations refer to them as rock badgers."
(I know it's all Wiki links, but it's a place to start... something about Wiki articles brings out the battleaxe editor in, for brevity's sake, I chopped out extraneous words so they're not exact quotes but links are below if anyone wants to hunt them down—the links, not the rabbits.)

 Here is the online etymology dictionary entry for coney/rabbit.

coney (n.) 
c.1200, from Anglo-French conis, plural of conil "long-eared rabbit" (Lepus cunicula) from Latin cuniculus (source of Spanishconejo, Portuguese coelho, Italian coniglio), the small, Spanish variant of the Italian hare (Latin lepus), the word perhaps from Iberian Celtic (classical writers say it is Spanish).
Rabbit arose 14c. to mean the young of the species, but gradually pushed out the older word 19c., after British slang picked upconey as a punning synonym for cunny "cunt" (compare connyfogle "to deceive in order to win a woman's sexual favors"). The word was in the King James Bible [Prov. xxx:26, etc.], however, so it couldn't be entirely dropped, and the solution was to change the pronunciation of the original short vowel (rhyming with honey, money) to rhyme with boney. In the Old Testament, the word translates Hebrew shaphan "rock-badger." Rabbits not being native to northern Europe, there was no Germanic or Celtic word for them.
All the English language dictionaries with etymologies state that the origin of CONEY - Middle English conies, plural, from Anglo-French conis, plural of conil, from Latin cuniculus.  First Known Use: 12th century (Miriam Webster)
Someone posted that hahn is the German word for rabbit, but it's the word for cock! (OMG let the puns roll).  And so they did: "Cunnies" love to Tickle Cock.
in English the word used was “coney” which was correctly pronounced like the Irish as “cunny.” In the 19th century rabbit gradually takes over from coney (cunny) when the latter became a punning slang word. The c-word was very common in medieval England and was found in many street names like Grope(c-word) Lane. Today we might call such a street the red light district. Search Google maps for Tickle Cock Bridge! It is a pedestrian underpass in Castleford.
Someone else wrote: German does have a word for rabbit, it is kaninchen and the word for a hare is hasa. "Hahn" is a fowl, NOT a rabbit. Haas is Dutch for hare. In eastern Dutch dialect the word for rabbit is kenien, which is pronounced exactly the same as Irish kuneen.....

And someone named Bunny liked my posts...LOL

Van Morrisson song Coney Island…
Coming down from Downpatrick
Stopping off at St. John's Point
Out all day birdwatching
And the craic was good.

A real Coney Island mindfuck.

really really rough notes:

aiwe => river
Later you equate the Wallonian word for yes to Germanic.'... it is in fact closer to the Scottish "aye". Both are probably syllable reversal of the Germanic "ja" or "yeah". 

Walloon is classified as an oïl dialect of Gallo-Romance languages, based on the way the word for "yes" is pronounced. The Walloon for "yes" is "ayi". It may sound vaguely similar to "oïl" (pronounce "oi" as in "oil" without the "l"), but it is in fact closer to the Scottish "aye". Both are probably syllable reversal of the Germanic "ja" or "yeah". 

The Walloon for "no" is "neni". It is again much closer to the German "nein" than the French "non" or southern Romance "no". Likewise the negative equivalent of the French "pas" (as in je ne sais pas) is "nin". It is probably a nassalised version of the Dutch "niet" German "nicht", derived from the local Frankish dialect. In any case it is completely different from "pas".

So despite the big chunk of Romance vocabulary, many basic words in Walloon appear to be of Germanic, Celtic or unknown origin (possibly pre-Celtic).

It surprises how little studied the language is. After all, it covers an area with more traditional speakers than Welsh or Scottish Gaelic.

"yes" is "ayi". That's oui in French, vs the -oc of Langdoc, Scottish AND Irish did not suddenly take up German words to says yes, and dyslexically reverse the letters.  If anything, Walloon probably predates the French language since it was comprised of Gauls speaking a foreign language (Latin).

Hard c  because of germanic influence, that c remained k?  predates French,,,
its pronunciation "tsh" is typically French : what you have there is the affrication of the latin [k] before [a] after palatalisation. This process is French, and occurs nowhere else. During the XIth and XIIth centuries, when most English borrowings from French occurred, the grapheme "ch" (from Lat. "c") was pronounced "tsh" in Old French. Only during the XIIIth century, the pronunciation was reduced to "sh". Therefore, the English words with an initial "ch" pronounced "tsh" are are mostly French loanwords with a rigorously accurate Old French pronunciation ("chance", "choice", "chamber", "chair" etc.). On the contrary, the phonetics of "castle" is Germanic, albeit being a Latin word.

Here is another example of why Walloon might be considered a Germanised Romance language. The Walloon word for castle is tchestê, which is almost the same as the English 'chester' (as in Manchester, Winchester Chichester, etc.). Chester is the Anglo-Saxon pronunciation of the Latin word castrum, which gave castello in Italian, castillo in Spanish, château in French, and of course 'castle' in English. The fact that the Walloon word is closer to the Anglo-Saxon than to the French or other Romance languages is, I think, a clear sign that Walloon was originally the language of the Franks who adopted Latin after settling in the Roman province of Gallia Belgica.

The term Walloon is derived from *walha, a Proto-Germanic term used to refer to Celtic and Latin speakers

Walloon originated in Romance languages alongside other related terms, but it supplanted them. Its oldest written trace is found in Jean de Haynin's Mémoires de Jean, sire de Haynin et de Louvignies in 1465, Walloon evoked a constitutional reality, it originally referred to Roman populations of the Burgundian Netherlands and was also used to designate a territory by the terms provinces wallonnes or Walloon country (Pays wallon), from the 16th century to the Belgian revolution, and later Wallonia.[10] The term 'Walloon country' was also used in Dutch viz. Walsch land.[11][12] The term existed also in German, perhaps Wulland in Hans Heyst's book (1571) where Wulland is translated by Wallonia in English (1814).[13] In German it is however generally Wallonenland : Le païs de Valons, Belgolalia, Wallonenland, in "Le Grand Dictionnaire Royal" Augsbourg, 1767;[

Since the 11th century, the great towns along the river Meuse, for example, Dinant, Huy, and Liège, traded with Germany, where Wallengassen (Walloons' neighborhoods) were founded in certain cities.[27] In Cologne, the Walloons were the most important foreign community, as noted by three roads named Walloonstreet in the city.[28] The Walloons traded for materials they lacked, such as copper, found in Germany, especially at Goslar.
he root of the word Wallonia, like the words Wales, Cornwall and Wallachia,[4] is the Germanic word Walha, meaning the strangers. Wallonia is named after the Walloons, the population of the Burgundian Netherlands speaking Romance languages. In Middle Dutch (and French), the term Walloons also included the French-speaking population of the Prince-Bishopric of Liège[5] or the whole population of the Romanic sprachraum within the medieval Low Countries.
Julius Caesar conquered Gaul in 57 BC. The Low Countries became part of the larger Gallia Belgica province which originally stretched from southwestern Germany to Normandy and the southern part of the Netherlands. The population of this territory was Celtic with a Germanic influence which was stronger in the north than in the south of the province. Gallia Belgica became progressively romanized. The ancestors of the Walloons became Gallo-Romans and were called the "Walha" by their Germanic neighbours. The "Walha" abandoned their Celtic dialects and started to speak Vulgar Latin.[7]
The Merovingian Franks gradually gained control of the region during the 5th century, under Clovis. Due to the fragmentation of the former Roman Empire, Vulgar Latin regionally developed along different lines and evolved into several langue d'oïl dialects, which in Wallonia became Picard, Walloon and Lorrain.[7] The oldest surviving text written in a langue d'oïl, the Sequence of Saint Eulalia, has characteristics of these three languages and was likely written in or very near to what is now Wallonia around 880 AD.[6] From the 4th to the 7th century, the Franks established several settlements, probably mostly in the north of the province where the romanization was less advanced and some Germanic trace was still present. The language border began to crystallize between 700 under the reign of the Merovingians and Carolingians and around 1000 after the Ottonian Renaissance.[8] French-speaking cities, with Liège as the largest one, appeared along the Meuse river and Gallo-Roman cities such as Tongeren, Maastricht and Aachen became Germanized.\

angue d'oïl refers to the mutually intelligible linguistic variants of romana lingua spoken since the 9th century in northern France and southern Belgium (Wallonia), since the 10th century in the Channel Islands, and between the 11th and 14th centuries in England (the Anglo-Norman language). Langue d'oïl, the term itself, has been used in the singular since the 12th century to denote this ancient linguistic grouping as a whole. With these qualifiers, langue d'oïl sometimes is used to mean the same as Old French (see History below).\
In the 9th century, romana lingua (the term used in the Oaths of Strasbourg of 842) was the first of the Romance languages to be recognized by its speakers as a distinct language, probably because it was the most different from Latin compared with the other Romance languages (see History of the French language).
A good number of the developments that we now consider typical of Walloon appeared between the 8th and 12th centuries. Walloon "had a clearly defined identity from the beginning of the thirteenth century". In any case, linguistic texts from the time do not mention the language, even though they mention others in the Oïl family, such as Picard and Lorrain. During the 15th century, scribes in the region called the language "Roman" when they needed to distinguish it. It is not until the beginning of the 16th century that we find the first occurrence of the word "Walloon" in the same linguistic sense that we use it today.

By late- or post-Roman times Vulgar Latin had developed two distinctive terms for signifying assent (yes): hoc ille ("this (is) it") and hoc ("this"), which became oïl and oc, respectively. Subsequent development changed "oïl" into "oui", as in modern French. The term langue d'oïl itself was first used in the 12th century, referring to the Old French linguistic grouping noted above. In the 14th century, the Italian poet Dante mentioned the yes distinctions in his De vulgari eloquentia. He wrote in Medieval Latin: "nam alii oc, alii si, alii vero dicunt oil" ("some say 'oc', others say 'si', others say 'oïl'")—thereby distinguishing at least three classes of Romance languages: oc languages (in southern France); si languages (in Italy and Iberia) and oïl languages (in northern France).

"interdialectary" langue d'oïl had emerged, a kind of koiné. In the late 13th century this common langue d'oïl was named French (françois in French, lingua gallica or gallicana in Medieval Latin).
. The Picard language is first referred to by name as "langage pikart" in 1283ïlïl

raspoie (Old Walloon) => raspberry/framboise (like robète, spraute and sitouve, only English has a word related to it)
raspberry (n.) 
1620s, earlier raspis berry (1540s), possibly from raspise "a sweet rose-colored wine" (mid-15c.), from Anglo-Latin vinum raspeys, origin uncertain, as is the connection between this and Old French raspe, Medieval Latin raspecia, raspeium, also meaning "raspberry." One suggestion is via Old Walloon raspoie "thicket," of Germanic origin. Klein suggests it is via the French word, from a Germanic source akin to English rasp (v.), with an original sense of "rough berry," based on appearance.

raspberry: 1623, earlier raspis berry (1548), possibly from raspise “a sweet rose-colored wine” (c.1460), from Anglo-L. vinum raspeys, origin uncertain, as is the connection between this and O.Fr. raspe, M.L. raspecia, raspeium, also meaning “raspberry.” One suggestion is via Old Walloon raspoie “thicket,” of Gmc. origin.