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The discovery of previously unknown pages from a very early book printed by William Caxton is an exciting event for historians of printing. The pages—from a liturgical manual for priests known as the ‘Sarum Ordinal’ or ‘Sarum Pie’—are in Latin, so they won’t provide any new data for the history of English words; but it’s […]more
With British Pie Week just behind us, and Americans celebrating pi(e) day on the 14th March (written 3/14 in the US, and thus resembling the first three digits of the number π), there has been a great deal of debate about what makes a pie a pie. Even Mary Berry has stepped on some toes […]more
It is assumed that the word pie came into English via Old French, from Latin pica ‘magpie’, which in turn is related to picus ‘green woodpecker’. Here, the allusion is perhaps to the various combinations of ingredients of a pie being comparable to the objects randomly collected by a magpie. Its sweet equivalent, the cake, on the other […]more
The Great British Bake Off is now back on UK screens, and we thought it would be the perfect excuse to spend a post writing about phrases in English which use baking in them. Shockingly, it turns out that we love slipping cakes into everyday conversation – there are a lot of them! 1. To […]more
14 March is Pi Day, a day, presumably, when all things 3.14159 are celebrated. Unless I have made a typo in the first sentence, it should be obvious that you should not be expecting lots of “Who ate all the pies” chants as we honour the humble pastry case with filling. Similarly, the numismatists among you […]more