Wednesday, 6 May 2009

A load of old codswallop......

I was going to write about Cumberland wrestling and those who indulge in the sport. However....every time I look at the above picture I burst out laughing. Look closely at that fine figure of a wrestling man. Gaze at the errr.....uhmmmm............aaagghhh.... 'protuberance' in his natty and stylish blue shorts. Methinks this may well be a 'codpiece', although dear reader, this is purely conjecture on my part.

But I digress and will now attempt to inject some scholarship and erudition into this blog - ladies please tear your gaze away from that cross stitched Adonis.
In Middle English, "Cod" (or "Codd" in Old English) meant "bag" or "scrotum". As time passed, codpieces were shaped to emphasize the male genitalia and eventually often became padded and bizarrely shaped. They also often doubled as a pocket, a handy carrying place for a variety of items such as coins and snuff.
At first, the codpiece was entirely a practical matter of modesty. Men's hose were typically very snug on the legs and open at the crotch, with the genitalia simply hanging loose under the doublet. As changing fashions led to shorter doublets, the codpiece was created to cover the crotch.

Enough is enough.......

The most accepted definition of codswallop is....

'When cod was landed it went into the sheds for cleaning & preparation. The cold & wet waste trimmings from what were large fish would hit the ground with a distinctive sound, "wallop". By association, the word codswallop became used for any significant amount of sloppy rubbish & from there, for signifcant spoken/written rubbish.'

So, as you see, it fits this posting perfectly. Have a grand downhill day all.


  1. To connect the fine hobby of cross stitching in any way to those shorts is a crying shame...

  2. Quite a revealing post, Michael! I must find out where that chap buys his vests!

  3. Very, a-hem, interesting post, Michael!

  4. Well, I do think you handled that subject delicately. I do have to agree with Jacqueline, however, on the subject of cross stitching.

    As a former costumer for ballet companies I am well aware of padding the parts as it were.

  5. ... and I always thought size didn't matter... what a load of old codswallap!!!

    Those shorts are rathers cringeworthy aren't they... and somehow the floral decoration doesn't help

  6. I very informative post. I was a theatre major in college with an emphsis on costuming, but I never had to make one of these items. Ask me how glad I am? (chuckling)

  7. Hahaha, words fail me! I'm so glad I read this right before sleeping.