Tricky Words in this week's OVI
Armorial warrant. A warrant is an official document which gives somebody permission and backing to do something. The police need a search warrant signed by a judge if they want to enter and look
around some private premises, for example. In the case of Košice in the year 1369, it was an official document signed by King Lodovicus Magnus of Hungary, giving the city permission and backing for
the use of its own coat of arms (erb).
That decision was unheard of at the time, because the coat of arms had previously been used to identify only an individual person or family. It is called a coat of arms in English, even though it
is usually a design placed on a shield (štít), because knights in armour (brnenie) needed a clear means of identification in battle, so they put a light fabric "coat" with their individual design
over their armour. Part of the design also appeared on top of their helmet (prilba) in the form of a crest (klenot).
This week's question is why British or American people don't know the tradition of "olievačka" and "šíbačka" on Easter Monday. It's even necessary to invent English expressions for these activities
(I propose "watering" and "whacking"), since being unknown they are never discussed by English speakers. These activities have not been outlawed by the movement for political correctness ("PC") as
being sexist, or expressions of physical harassment against women.
That movement is too modern, and anyway you can't outlaw something which nobody even practises. Watering and whacking are remnants of pagan springtime cleansing and fertility rituals. The Catholic
Church used the dates of the ancient rituals to help establish its own (Christmas, Easter, All Saints), but it was the Puritans who did everything to wipe them out, as primitive behavior beneath
human dignity, both in England and in New England about 400 years ago.