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Old 03-07-2014, 11:38 AM   #426
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Thank you, Carlus, for such a wonderful explanation of nave and the church's use of sailing boats in stained glass windows. I have seen them before, and now I understand why they are used in that way. I am not religious and was not raised with any particular church, but I love to visit old churches for their history, often well-recorded.

nautch - noun an entertainment in India consisting chiefly of dancing by professional dancing girls
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Old 03-07-2014, 12:11 PM   #427
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nautch - noun an entertainment in India consisting chiefly of dancing by professional dancing girls
Back in 19th Century British India, nautch girls/women were considered erotic by newcomers to India. They didn't understand that the women were highly skilled professional dancing artistes and that the best were middle-aged or older, because it took decades to learn. A dance performed by nautch women was stylised and used more symbolism than classical ballet. If you didn't understand it, it could be boring.

If you could understand it, it was a cultural experience.

Like the equally highly trained Japanese Geisha, Nautch girls were NOT available for sex.
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:35 AM   #428
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Og, I thought that might be the case, because the definition used the word "professional" before dancer. Thank you very much for giving me more information about this dance and its dancers.

naumachia - noun 1. an ancient Roman spectacle representing a naval battle 2. a place for naumachiae
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:40 AM   #429
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Nautch Girls - 2004 news article in India



http://www.tribuneindia.com/2004/200...trum/main1.htm

The nautch girl held the white sahib spellbound for nearly two centuries. Pran Nevile describes the magnetic appeal, grace and romance of the nautch which was found superior to all operas of the world.

The word "nautch" is an Anglicised form of the Hindi/Urdu word nach derived from the Sanskrit nritya through the Prakrit nachcha, meaning dance. Nautch represented cultural interaction between the native and the early English settlers in India. Its professional exponent, the nautch girl, held the white sahib spellbound for nearly two centuries. "Delicate in person, soft in her features, perfect in form," she captivated the hearts of ordinary Englishmen by her grace and charm, enthralled the more sophisticated among them by her conversation and wit and enraptured the elite with her nautch which some of them found "superior to all the operas in the world."

A British cadet watching a nautch during the Puja festival, Calcutta. Painting by Sir Charles Díoyly, c. 1810



Professional nautch girls and their performances have been described in numerous journals, travelogues, memoirs and diaries left by European visitors, missionaries, and civil and military officials. The fare provided by nautch girls fascinated most viewers and many a sahib was captivated by their seductive charm. The post-Plassey British nabobs who had made quick fortunes emulated the ostentatious lifestyle of native princes and omrahs. They even maintained their own troupes of nautch girls and musicians for the entertainment of their guests. A dinner in the community was usually followed by a nautch performance. So were other festive occasions, such as the celebration of a King Emperorís birthday and visits of dignitaries to civil and military stations. Nautch girls would also accompany the British army whenever it was on the move, entertaining the soldiers on the way. At times they were also engaged to welcome arriving guests on the highways. An army officer in his journal (1783) states "he was met by his friend Major MacNeal who was preceded by a troupe of nautch girls. The latter encircled his palanquin, dancing until he entered the Majorís house in Arcot."

So popular was this entertainment, especially with the soldiers, that nautch girls began to move en masse to British stations. Captain Williamson notes in his Costumes and Customs of Modern India (1813) that between the years 1778 and 1785, many outstanding dancing girls quit the cities, and retired to the cantonments, where they were received with open arms. Quite often, lonely men would send for nautch girls to entertain them in their own houses. Usually, groups of civilians or soldiers joined hands to hire nautch girls for an evening of amusement. They would often recite songs learnt from them and even translate them into popular ditties.

Nautch girls catered to a mixed society but it was men who got into the spirit of the nautch. Encouraged by the menís applause of wah, wah they would shed their stiff reserve and cool propriety, displaying their seductive charms. James Forbes in his Oriental Memoirs (1813) pays this compliment to nautch girls: "They are extremely delicate in their person, soft and regular in their features, with a form of perfect symmetry, and although dedicated from infancy to this profession, they in general preserve a decency and modesty in their demeanour, which is more likely to allure than the shameless effrontery of similar characters in other countries."

A nautch girl sings to entertain memsahibs. Painting by Mrs C. Belnos, c. 1820



The quality of the nautch and the class of nautch girls varied from place to place as did the reactions of the British spectators. In an early 19th century account, Captain Mundy describes a splendid nautch party held in honour of the Commander-in-Chief by the companyís political agent, Captain Wade in Ludhiana where 46 nautch girls entertained the guests, only to be surpassed by the British Resident at Delhi who honoured the Commander-in-Chief with a performance by 100 nautch girls.

In another account, nautch girls are portrayed as "pretty gazelleyed damsels arrayed in robes of sky-blue, crimson and gold in stately guise whose languishing glances stare brightly through their antimonial borders."

The nautch became a common form of entertainment in the mansions of the English merchants turned rulers in Bengal and other parts of India. Mrs S.C. Bernos, a reputed artist who lived in Calcutta in the early 19th century, has invested nautch girls with a romantic aura. In her vivid description of a dance party held in Calcutta during the Puja festival, she observed:

"On entering the magnificent saloon, the eye is dazzled by a blaze of lights from splendid lustres, triple wall shades, chandle brass, etc., superb pier glasses, pictures, sofas, chairs, Turkey carpets, etc., adorn the splendid hall: these combined with the sounds of different kinds of music, both European and Indian, played at the same time in different apartments; the noise of native tom-toms from another part of the house; the hum of human voices, the glittering dresses of the dancing girls, their slow and graceful movement; the rich dresses of the Rajah and his equally opulent Indian guests; the gay circle of European ladies and gentlemen, and the delicious scent of attar of roses and sandal which perfumes the saloon, strikes the stranger with amazement; but he fancies himself transported to some enchanted region, and the whole scene before him is but a fairy vision."

These splendid parties of nautch entertainment were covered by the local press, especially when dignitaries graced these with their presence. Observing that Delhi was the place where native dancing was to be seen in its perfection, Lieutenant Thomas Bacon (1831) gives a graphic description of a nautch held there in a spacious tent laid out for this purpose by Maharaja Hindu Rao:

"The tent was most glaringly lighted, massaulchis or torch-bearers stood here and there ready to attend to any person who might require them...we had scarcely seated ourselves ere two of them made their appearance, floating into our presence, all tinsel coloured muslin and ornaments: they were followed by three musicians, and attended by a couple of mussaulchis who held their torches first to the face and then lower down as if showing off the charms of the dancers to the best advantage."

There is a fascinating description by Lieutenant Colonel Tarrens (1860) of a nautch by Kashmiri girls in the Shalimar Gardens at Srinagar. The author was enchanted by the beauty of Shalimar, the queen of gardens, which he felt should be visited at night by the pale of moonlight when it is properly bedecked with torches, and crowned with lamps. Then "the proper thing to do is to give orders for a nautch at Shalimar." Apart from the beauty of the place, Torrens was enchanted with the dancing and singing of the charming Kashmiri nautch girls whom he considered "vastly superior" to what he had seen elsewhere. Another witness to a similar performance in Shalimar Gardens was a reputed professional artist, William Simpson, who was so much enthralled by the sight of nautch girls dancing by torchlight that he describes it as "the sweet delusion of a never to be forgotten night."

The immense popularity of the nautch can be judged by the fact that at times a dance performance would begin in the evening and last until daybreak. Among the prominent and most colourful British residents of Delhi at that time were Colonel James Skinner, known as Secunder Sahib and Sir David Ochterlony, nicknamed Loony Akhtar, who lived in royal style and held lavish nautch parties to entertain the English community. Colonel Skinner, a great patron of Delhi artists, would give away miniature paintings of nautch girls to his guests, sometimes of the very same dancers who were entertaining them.

One finds that "One of the most popular numbers in the repertoire of the nautch-girl was the Kaharka nautch or Kuharwa, the bearerís dance, usually performed before a male audience.

While rendering it the nautch girl would tie a sash round her loins, through which she pulled up her gown and put another across her shoulders. Twisting a turban saucily round her head she would let her long black hair fall on her back and around bosom and then dart forward with animated gestures, something of the nature of a Highland fling."

Another popular number considered graceful was the kite dance performed to the rhythm of a slow and expressive melody. The dancers would imitate in their gestures the movements of a person flying a kite. Commenting on this dance, one army officer observed that "the attitudes incident to this performance are most favourable to Indian grace and suppleness and the heavenward direction of the eyes displays these features, as doubtless my fair country women know, to the very best advantage."

In South India, the dance tradition continued to be associated with the temple. While kathak flourished in North India, dassi attam, also referred to as sadir nautch, dominated the nautch scene in the South. It was far more than mere visible expression of a sung melody. It had a life of its own with a direct appeal to emotions. Often the dance was in itself the pantomime of a whole story. Dr John Shortt, in his account of Dancing Girls of S. India (1870), noted that their dance movements were marked by agility, ease and gracefulness, and the turning and twisting of their hands, eyes, face, features, and trunk were in complete harmony with their nimble steps whilst they beat time with their feet. Their dance was more feminine and suited to solo performances in temples and later in a court and at other public functions. There was greater emphasis on pure dance and abhinaya or expressions as they recited songs which were generally in praise of the gods but could also be interpreted in human terms for the benefit of their patrons.

The songs of nautch girls had as their themes either the amorous escapades in the lives of gods or conventional romantic tales, usually about the loverís yearning for the beloved. Until the end of the 19th century, songs in Persian were as popular as those in Hindi. The one Persian ghazal by Hafiz which dominated the nautch scene for over a hundred years and invariably evoked roaring applause both from the natives and from the Europeans was Tazah ba Tazah nu ba nu (Fresh and fresh, new and new). A mirthful melody in which the poet recommends applying the principles of fresh and new to all he does, whether in drinking, making friends, or making love. This finds mention in numerous foreign accounts of the nautch. There are even references comparing the singing style and the rendering of this ghazal by different reputed nautch girls of the day.

Until the middle of the 19th century, many Company officials were familiar with the Persian language and took interest in Persian poetry. There were even a few who would compose extempore couplets in Persian. These popular songs devoted to wine and woman aroused romantic feelings and amorous desires among the audience. The visual display of human emotions served to enhance the appeal of the melodies as the spectators saw in them a reflection of their own hopes and aspirations. When a nautch girl addressed a patron with whom she had a liaison, the song would convey a meaningful message to him.

As the 19th century wore on, the spread of English education brought in a new petit bourgeois class which, influenced by western ideas, got alienated from the art and cultural traditions of the country. This educated group was also swayed by the writings of some foreign observers who, without understanding the origin and nature of the Indian dance are and mistaking it for a representation of erotic temple sculptures, condemned it as "repulsive and immoral". They made no distinction between an accomplished professional nautch girl or a devadasi and a common prostitute, dubbing both as fallen women.

In their drive against nautch, the missionaries were also joined by a powerful group of educated Indian social reformers who, influenced by western ideas and Victorian moral values, had lost pride in their own cultural heritage.

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Old 03-08-2014, 11:49 AM   #430
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naumachia - noun 1. an ancient Roman spectacle representing a naval battle 2. a place for naumachiae
The Colosseum in Rome was equipped to stage naumachiae.
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:52 AM   #431
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If the subtle supple wiggle of the Nautch girls then has had any real influence on the sort of things seen on you-tube, the dances must have been really, really good.
Take a look at this wiggle; arms in controlled waves and a waist that's more like a universal joint.
This pair are something else! It's almost like a ballet.
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Old 03-08-2014, 12:08 PM   #432
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Og, what a wonderful article on nautch girls and I really liked the pictures, too. The end is a little sad. Is nautch dancing making a comeback in India these days?

Handley, I thoroughly enjoyed the link on the Indian dancers. Is that a nautch dance? Thanks for posting it.

How did naught become naughty?

naught(1) - noun NOTHING

naughty - adj 1.a. archaic vicious in moral character b. guilty of disobedience or misbehavior 2. lacking in taste or propriety
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Old 03-08-2014, 12:47 PM   #433
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Og, what a wonderful article on nautch girls and I really liked the pictures, too. The end is a little sad. Is nautch dancing making a comeback in India these days?

Handley, I thoroughly enjoyed the link on the Indian dancers. Is that a nautch dance? Thanks for posting it.

...
The nautch girls dancing style has significantly influenced Bollywood.

It is only one of the many classical Indian dance methods.

This is Odissi

Kathak from Uttar Pradesh

India has so many cultures and so many musical and dance traditions.


Mom and daughters in a modern version.

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Old 03-08-2014, 05:30 PM   #434
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The nautch girls dancing style has significantly influenced Bollywood.

It is only one of the many classical Indian dance methods.

This is Odissi

Kathak from Uttar Pradesh

India has so many cultures and so many musical and dance traditions.

Mom and daughters in a modern version.
That Kathak reminds me of a Bollywood film.
Some of the music's a bit depressing but; wow!
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Old 03-08-2014, 08:14 PM   #435
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The dances you posted were a sheer delight to watch and I did not find the music depressing in the least. I enjoyed the mother/daughter dance the most. Thanks a hundred times over for your participation on this thread, Og. You are a dear.

This one sounded interesting;

natural law - noun a body of law or a specific principle held to be derived from nature and binding upon human society in the absence of or in addition to positive law
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Old 03-09-2014, 12:30 PM   #436
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Adding to my last post;

positive law - noun law established or recognized by governmental authority
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Old 03-09-2014, 03:48 PM   #437
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The dances you posted were a sheer delight to watch and I did not find the music depressing in the least. I enjoyed the mother/daughter dance the most. Thanks a hundred times over for your participation on this thread, Og. You are a dear.

This one sounded interesting;

natural law - noun a body of law or a specific principle held to be derived from nature and binding upon human society in the absence of or in addition to positive law
The trouble with natural law is that so many people who hold religious convictions assert that the truth of those convictions follows from natural law. Thus, they hold that those convictions are binding on non-believers. Even (Especially?) if those non-believers have religious convictions of their own.

I think that the most important natural law is that we'd all be better off without natural law.
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Old 03-09-2014, 04:22 PM   #438
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In England (and Wales) there are two types of law: Common Law and Case Law.

Common Law has existed from 'time immemorial' which is legally considered to be before legal records were kept and before Magna Carta. Some of Common Law dates back before 1066 and the Norman Conquest - see below.

Acts of Parliament and other forms of law can be established by Parliament, but what they actually mean is just a matter of opinion until their exact definitions have been tested by the courts and become 'Case Law'.

1066 and all that:

William the Conqueror said he had a legitimate claim to the throne of England and therefore he also said he wanted to preserve the laws of England. Of course he made massive exceptions and additions to grant lands and powers to his followers.

There was an exception. After the Battle of Hastings, the Kentish Fyrd - the yeoman soldiers of the Men of Kent and Kentish Men - intercepted William on his way to London. They refused to let him pass until he agreed that they could keep their ancient Kentish Laws and Customs. He considered that a simple price to pay.

In Kent the laws of inheritance were unusual, keeping estates and lands together instead of being divided between sons - Gavelkind. Because of Gavelkind Kent remained relatively prosperous after the Conquest.

The other advantage to Kent was that William didn't really know what the ancient Laws and Customs of Kent actually were. They hadn't been written down. The Men of Kent and Kentish Men cheated. Their 'ancient' traditions were whatever they said they were, and often against the Normans' interest.

As for 'Natural Law'? It doesn't exist as a legal definition. A few years ago The Natural Law Party put up candidates to be Members of Parliament. They contended that the UK's, and the World's, problems could be solved by Yogic Flying. None of their candidates were elected, nor seen to fly.
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Old 03-09-2014, 06:14 PM   #439
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In England (and Wales) there are two types of law: Common Law and Case Law.

As for 'Natural Law'? It doesn't exist as a legal definition. A few years ago The Natural Law Party put up candidates to be Members of Parliament. They contended that the UK's, and the World's, problems could be solved by Yogic Flying. None of their candidates were elected, nor seen to fly.
I remember that; it provided a great deal of amusement.
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:03 PM   #440
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Carlus and Og, thank you for helping me to understand natural law a bit better. I had heard the term from the religious folks and wondered about it. The Men of Kent had the right idea and lived to prosper from it.

Here is an interesting grouping;

nattily - adv in a natty manner: SMARTLY

nattiness - noun the quality or state of being natty

natty - adj trimly neat and tidy: SMART

Due to the term used for black children and their "natty" hair, I always thought natty meant something else entirely, as in unruly. Boy, was I wrong.
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Old 03-11-2014, 12:05 PM   #441
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Good day, posters.

natheless or nathless - adv archaic: NEVETHELESS, NOTWITHSTANDING
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Old 03-11-2014, 01:42 PM   #442
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Here is an interesting grouping;

nattily - adv in a natty manner: SMARTLY

nattiness - noun the quality or state of being natty

natty - adj trimly neat and tidy: SMART

Due to the term used for black children and their "natty" hair, I always thought natty meant something else entirely, as in unruly. Boy, was I wrong.

I've not encountered "natty hair"; I've always seen it as "nappy hair".
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Old 03-11-2014, 09:43 PM   #443
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Carlus, it could be that I simply confused the two words, but the nappy hair of children is often sectioned neatly off and braided, curled or such, depending on preference, and in the end, it is very natty, indeed. I wish I could find the reference to natty hair, again.

nates - noun BUTTOCKS
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Old 03-12-2014, 02:10 PM   #444
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I am especially fond of doing anything related to this next grouping;

natant - adj swimming or floating in water

natation - noun the act or art of swimming

natatorial or natatory - adj 1. of or relating to swimming 2. adapted to or characterized by swimming

natatorium - noun a place for swimming; esp: an indoor swimming pool
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Old 03-12-2014, 05:38 PM   #445
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natty - adj trimly neat and tidy: SMART

...
Historical Slang

natty - adj originally and in common usage clever, smart with the hands, then 2. smartly neat, spruce from 1785, of things 3. very neat, dainty, hence 4. of persons - daintly skilful.

natty lad - a young thief, especially a skilful pickpocket.
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Old 03-13-2014, 01:18 PM   #446
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Thanks, Og, for the historical slang aspect of natty. At least it agrees somewhat with my dictionary.

narthex - noun 1. the portico of an ancient church 2. a vestibule leading to the nave of a church
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Old 03-13-2014, 01:34 PM   #447
maverick51
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parsimonious is one of my favorites
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Old 03-14-2014, 12:42 PM   #448
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Yes, Maverick51, that is a good one.

nark - noun a spy employed by the police: STOOL PIGEON
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Quoted from The Merry Wives of Windsor:

Here will be an old abusing of Godís patience and the Kingís English.

(1.4.4) Mistress Quickly



Check out my website for my full length, humorous, historical, erotica novel,

Salon de Seduction

at http://salondeseduction.com/

and remember Madam Gigi's motto,

"Sex first, and maybe romance later!"
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Old 03-14-2014, 02:47 PM   #449
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllardChardon View Post
Yes, Maverick51, that is a good one.

nark - noun a spy employed by the police: STOOL PIGEON
Ah, it seems we have a different definition; actually two.
When used to describe a 'spy' it's not common (to watch, observe & report).
But Nark also means very annoyed (the degree of nark),
and also to terminate something.
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Old 03-14-2014, 05:01 PM   #450
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllardChardon View Post
Yes, Maverick51, that is a good one.

nark - noun a spy employed by the police: STOOL PIGEON
A very interesting word. It's a word that's been in use since 1865, or earlier, as attested by the OED, which gives a citation from then. According to several sources, it's rooted in the Romany (aka "Gypsy") word nak, nose.

But the meaning you give has been reinforced by the American hippie slang word, narc, a word I well recall from the late '60s/early '70s. Narc is an obvious shortening of the phrases narcotics informer and narcotics detective, and used to mean either. Some modern dictionaries contain both forms, and even go so far as to characterize nark (substantially the older word) as a "variant spelling" of narc. (See, for example, Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, 1985.)

It wasn't until about twenty years after the hippie era that I learned of that older word, and, probably, another fifteen or twenty before I found out about their separate histories and the way they've merged into that single meaning.

Allow me to preempt you, for you will very soon be coming to nard: the Himalayan spikenard, a costly perfumed ointment much valued in ancient times.

I was surprised and disappointed by this innocuous meaning when I read The Book of Solomon as part of my Old Testament course in college. I didn't know the meaning when I first encountered nard in the Revised Standard Version, Solomon, I, 12: "While the king was on his couch, my nard gave forth its fragrance."

I will leave to your imagination the notions that brought to the mind of a horny young man...

But I'll give you a hint: The book is a love poem, the speaker who delivered the line is a woman, and body parts just might have played a role.
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