ersatz_read (ersatz_read) wrote in 1word1day,


1.  A funeral repast, usually consisting of bread or cake with ale.
2.  Money given to hunters, at the death of a fox, in order to buy ale.

1.  Of or relating to funeral feasts.
2.  Relating to a body of Roman priests (the Arval Brethren, "brothers of the fields") who presided over an annual fertility festival in May.
3.  Of, like, or pertaining to plowed land.

Etymology:  The funeral-related definitions are from Old Norse erfiöl, funeral feast, from arfr + öl, "heir ale".
The term was in use in Scotland and the North of England from at least the mid 1700s through at least the early 1900s; I'm sure it's been in use longer than that:  that's just the range of references that I've run across.  Variations in spelling include arvel, arvil, arthel, and averill.
Adjective definitions 2 and 3 are from Latin arvalis, "of the cultivated field".

Arval supper was a tradition in Scotland and the North of England.  Some references to arval bread or arval cake say it was given to funeral guests, to be eaten at home in remembrance; other references say it was distributed among the poor.

The fox-hunting reference is apparently a payment to the hunter for killing what was considered a destructive vermin.
Tags: a, adjective, latin, noun, old norse, theme: food, wordsmith: ersatz_read

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