Friday, March 12, 2010


GUINEA, n. A coin of twenty-one shillings, formerly minted in Great Britain, and still used as the unit of computation in fees for professional service, bribes and other transactions between gentlemen.
The bank is but the guinea's camp. Burns
2010 Update: The vast forested portion of West Africa, named by other Africans for the blackness of the inhabitants, as England was once named Albion by other Europeans for whiteness. In the West, Guinea is generally known for shady conspiracies between governments and corporations, a malcontented populace and Tarzan.


Lila said...

The coin and the land were named after the pig, right?

Jim said...

Back on the farm most people had chickens. My mom raised chickens for selling the fryers and keeping the pullets for laying. She then tried to keep about 300 laying hens and would sell their eggs.

My grandmother had some guinea chickens (fowl) and those guinea eggs were a real treat for some but not for us kids. I never eat things I don't understand.

k. riggs gardner said...

Lord Greystoke is a noble Mangani?

quilly said...

Guinea, n. the breakfast provider of my childhood, and when it stopped providing breakfast it still presented us with one more meal -- dinner.

Nessa said...

I think Lila is correct. That's the way I dun leanrt it.

Flash 55 - Avian Love

Nessa said...

Oh and what the heck are you doing up at 3am Doug?

Flash 55 - Avian Love

Mo'a said...

I would rather have a Guinea than a Pound...or a pig for that matter.
Although, a pig might fetch several that case I would rather have a pig...or chickens, or their eggs.

pia said...

There used to be a street, on Long Island named Guinea Woods Road, named for the bird but it was sooooo politically incorrect it was changed

TLP said...

This site is so educational. I thought that Guinea was New. And it turns out to be old.

Anonymous said...

Guinea: I remember growing up hearing adults use that as a derogatory term for some non-Amnerican's and in all honesty and don't know who they were referring to. Thank goodness it isn't used like that any longer. Have a great weekend :)

sauerkraut said...

Guinea: a good place to grow the stuff from which chocolat is made. Not to be confuzzled with Guiana.

k. riggs gardner said...

I grew up in Downstate New York. We got all the NYC television channels. People in Brooklyn used to call Italians GUINEAS, wops, dagos or guido grease-balls.

Coincidentally, I just had a couple of pizzas delivered to the house for dinner.

Anonymous said...

Karen, I grew up in Missouri and in Ohio, and that is what it meant there. Nonetheless, let us focus on the chickens

k. riggs gardner said...

Anon. ~ I believe those of Missourian or Ohioan decent will appreciate a link to this recipe:
Chicken Fried Chicken with Cream Gravy
This is essentially Texas-style chicken fried steak, but it is made with chicken breasts. Be sure to make this with cream gravy.

Anonymous said...

Is that quote about the Guinea from the Cynic's Dictionary, or the Devil's Dictionary?

Doug The Una said...

After the gnu, Lila.

Funny looking birds, though, aren't they, Jim?

Um, maybe, Karen?

Quilly, they're versatile birds I guess.

Nessa, art has no wake up time. Pretense, on the other hand, gets both hands of the clock.

Mo'a, you're doing a word problem here? Cool.

Pia, one day we might not even have street in street names.

TLP, everything old is new half a world away.

You too, Thom. I think it applied to Italians, but I don't know why.

Or New Guinea, Sauerkraut. Thank you for your accuracy.

Karen, that was a happy coincidence.

Dad, are you saying you'd rather be a barnfowl than an Italian? Because that would be racist, although comparatively clean.

Karen, my dad will appreciate that.

Anonymous, perceptive question. This was one of the additional definitions found by a guy named Ernest J. Hopkins in Bierce's other writings and added to the Devil's Dictionary to make the Enlarged Devil's Dictionary. If I had restricted this site to either version published in Bierce's lifetime, this blog would have already ended. That feels ok to me now, but four years ago seemed worth delaying.

weirsdo said...

I heard the phrase "showy Guinea," from a penny-pinching Irish landlady. It meant nouveau-riche sorts of Italians, who conspicuously and tastelessly displayed their wealth. Danbury, CT was a veritable stew of ethnic epithets.