Cucumber Time

No, this is not actually another in the neglected Fruits series, although I assure you that the cucumber is indeed a fruit.

Rather, it is prompted by a terrific observations by Erik Voeten at The Monkey Cage:

In Dutch the word “komkommertijd” (“cucumber time”) is used to describe the period when newspapers put stories about goats on the Congressional cemetery on the front page because politicians are on vacation. In the UK they call this “silly season” whereas in the U.S. (according to the almighty Wikipedia) “slow news season” is the accurate but dreadfully boring description of the phenomenon. [links in the original not included]

Briefly reviewing the apparent history of the term, Erik notes:

When the cucumbers were in season the gentry left town for the countryside and business was slow for tailors. Peculiarly, translations of the term appear in many languages: Sauregurkenzeit (German), agurktid (Norwegian), uborkaszezon , Okurková sezóna (Czech), Sezon ogórkowy (Polish), and Onat Ha’melafefonim (Hebrew). I can’t speak for all the languages, but in German it has the same meaning as in Dutch.

I agree wholeheartedly with Erik that this term very much deserves a comeback.

And, yes, for certain folks in other parts of the globe, it is most certainly not Cucumber Time just now.

4 thoughts on “Cucumber Time

  1. Oh, no!

    And, while maybe only for “mature audiences” there are many, shall I say, interesting things at that link!

  2. That’s nearly as bad as Carmen Lawrence talking about speaking “ex catheter”. Keep your friends close, and your enemas closer…

  3. The silly season in Australia (and New Zealand and South Africa according to Wikipedia) starts about mid-November and ends in February. Rather than being associated with agricultural cycles or the absence of courts and parliaments, it is associated with the great popular festivals of Christmas, international cricket, the Sydney-to-Hobart, New Year, and the Australian Open. Wikipedia does not mention that high summer in the three countries is when you cannot face anything more strenuous than the beach or a barbecue and when gentlemen in Santa Claus costumes regularly suffer heat stroke.

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