Britta's Letters from her life divided between city-life in German's capital Berlin and life in a Bavarian village

Tuesday 25 January 2022

Muddy thinking

Muddy thinking? Yes - if your dear correspondent had thought a bit less about the mud and mire in which the boars were wallowing, she might have done what long time ago was part of her studies: look hard at the words of a text. 
Maybe the word "Gamsbart" would have flared up in her mind. Pip reminded me kindly using the word "Gamsbart" without any reproach - same procedure I use when "correcting" a wrong word the triplets use while learning to speak, with no comment, just blithely using the correct word. 

 A "Gams oder Gemse" is a "chamois", Rupicapra rupicapra (Latin shall keep a rest of my dignity). 

And who should have known better than I - Zodiac sign capricorn! And before you tell me I am mistaken a second time: I know that Gemse and capricorn are not the same, only relatives: of course the capricorn is bigger, has longer horns, darker fur - as was expected capricorns are better and more beautiful, hahaha   :-) 

So: most Bavarian men wear a tuft of Gemsen-Hair. To bind that is high art - for a fine tuft they need the hair of one to ten Gemsen!!! (should look as a bearskin in London?) and you have to pay nonchalant up to 1000 Euro! - and, as many handicrafts: that handicraft is threatened to die out. And as if that is not enough: an EU-regulation threatens those Bavarians, who choose to carry a feather tuft from the mountain cock or eagle on their hat, with the forbiddance to use "visible sharing of protected animals". (They are only allowed to use the feathers of old hats). 
I was a bit more at ease when I read that the cheaper version of a Gamsbart is made out of deer hair or badger, or - trara!! - boar

PS: While I am at it, wallowing in mea culpa, I might just as well add that I only spoke derisively about a special sub-category of Bavarian hats: the Seppl-Hut, which you see mostly on drunken men at the Oktoberfest. As I am not able to transfer a picture from Wiki to my blog, you have to look it up. No tuft there. 
The other Bavarian hats - with a Gamsbart or more seldom a tuft of boar  :-)  - are quite chic. 


  1. I confess no prior knowledge, Britta! Gamsbart is a new word for me, found when I went looking for Bavarian hats, fetching or not, and spotted the boar variation amongst the $$$ fanciness. And no, the Seppl-Hut is not fetching in my book and speaks too loudly of wizard-garb for everyday wear. Just sayin'.

    The very sweet Rupicapra rupicapra sent me off on another short interwebs tangent: the world of tautonyms in biology's nomenclature. Such fun with words!

    Now must away and try to get in an evening constitutional before making dinner ... And I'll keep my eyes peeled for any Rattus rattus, which is probably the tautonmym I'm most likely to trip over in my neighbourhood :)

  2. Dear Pip, I love it when I have to think again about something I took for granted! Tautonyms in biology (and elsewhere) are fun.
    When I read your remark about the Gamsbart without correcting me I thought of it as the height of British politeness - I just mentioned in a manuscript the interesting words a gentleman should speak when he enters a bathroom and sees a Lady has a shower: " So sorry, Sir!" he should say, pretending he had seen nothing. :-)

  3. Fortunately (!) I am following little of this. Isn't that grand!

    1. Yes, Joanne, it is. I am working at it to do the same.

  4. .....I'm lost too! All I can say is that English must be a very difficult language to learn!
    Britta and Pip, you certainly keep us hopping here in blogland!

    1. Dear Mary, I saw that before my Inner Eye - a little "Morning workout with Pip and Britta" in Blogland - uno, due, tre - hop, hop, hop - makes me laugh!