Monday, February 20, 2012

Taphophile Tragics # 9


W. Bayfield, Esq., wore his heart on his sleeve, thought I, before mentally squishing him beneath my grinding heel. That one's for you, Maud.

William John Bayfield was a mechanic who lived in Waverley, with his wife Louisa Maud, who performed 'home duties'. They married in 1926 when Maud was 44 already.

However, upon reflection, it occurred to me that there may be another meaning to amiable than that which is currently in use. I note it is related to the Latin 'amare' meaning 'to love' (amo, amare, amavi, amatum). Any ideas?

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Welcome to the ninth week of Taphophile Tragics.We welcomed a number of new contributors last week, and our numbers, to use twitterese, are trending. I spent an hour and a half walking Waverley Cemetery very early on Sunday morning. It would take more than a year of Sundays to do the place justice.

Your contribution is most welcome. Please link directly to your post, rather than simply to your blog in general. Mr Linky opens at 10pm Monday, Sydney time (GMT+11). When you can, please visit the other contributing bloggers to show your appreciation of their endeavours.

28 comments:

JM said...

I checked 'amiable' on an old dictionary (1911), which belonged to my grandfather, and it means:
- Possessing agreable moral qualities;
- Having a sweet temper or attractive disposition;
- Lovable
(The translation to portuguese is 'amável')

Neil J Murphy said...

This is 'Presidents Week' here in the US. So I'm reposting some things I did three years ago, during the Lincoln bicentennial.

hamilton said...

it is an interesting choice of words. as is the building block style of headstone.

tapirgal said...

I think amiable had an acceptable quality of the positive last century, but it hardly holds a candle to LOVED or BELOVED. Good for you, and I expect Maud was grinning from ear to ear. "Also"??? That is just weird.

Gene said...

As JM said, an older meaning is: amiable: 4. Obsolete - lovable or lovely.

Who died first, Maud or W.? I'm wondering if he died first and she had her part added later, or whether he her tacked on as part of his last wishes.

bfarr said...

We can only hope to be amiable, right? I like the construction of this memorial.

tapirgal said...

Julie, you forgot to link again :-)

Peter said...

A different era. Loove the pic on your Sydney Eye too.

Gemma Wiseman said...

The "blocking" reminds me of some kind of shrine! Interesting how the date of death wording on some gravestones, when more than one is involved, seems to be placed ambiguously!

Joan Elizabeth said...

Ha Ha. It must be nice however to have an amiable wife, we modern wives are so much busier with less time to be amiable I think.

I've done a fresh new post for you this week instead of a repost.

Dina said...

Forgive my ignorance, but what are those things on the right side?

Julie said...

Dina, those things on the RHS or for cut flowers, remembering this was 1943. Nowadays, silk or plastic flowers are often standing upright in them. They are designed differently nowadays, too.

I hunted around to try to determine the date of death of William, to no avail. When I am next in WC, I will relocate Maud and see who else is in this plot with her. Although 80,000 people are buried in WC, there are only 50,000 grave-sites, so many are family sites.

Jim said...

Dina, they are a type of vase that adorn graves, for holding flowers in place in rough weather.

Jim said...

Julie, you beat me to it. :) My shot today is from Waverley cemetery too.

Ann said...

I think they just wanted an "amiable" child.

Virginia said...

Don't faint, two in a row! I'll try now to sync the real thing with Tuesday but we'll see about that.
V

Julie said...

*grin*

Sondra said...

LOL well at least you got one squish in there...I dont necessarily like it when the Stone of a woman states WIFE OF etc...HAVE Not seen one yet that has HUSBAND OF: but Im sure one is out there just I havent seen it YET. Great Post Julie!! WOW 80,000 that is a huge place.

VioletSky said...

amiable, or not, from this shot it looks like she was an afterthought...

Oakland Daily Photo said...

I'm with you, adding my heel to yours. Talk about damning with faint praise. He might get off the hook when considering the etymology of the word, but I think not. Grind away, girl.

The Paw Relations said...

What an odd thing to put on a grave. However upon Googling I came across this.

Amiable - Adjective: Having or displaying a friendly and pleasant manner.

Maybe that's what it meant. I guess we'll never know.


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NixBlog said...

The original sense of "amiable" dating from late Middle English was ‘kind’ and ‘lovely, lovable’, via Old French from late Latin amicabilis. The current sense, influenced by modern French "aimable" - ‘trying to please,’ dates from the mid 18th century.

So unless W. Bayfield, Esq was a Middle English scholar, I would say that he was rather dismissive of his poor wife.

I got to Russia this week!

Julie said...

Russia! This week! Ooo ooo ooo ... gotta visit a Russian cemetery or two ... ooo

CaT said...

we have the same word. "amiabel". but its very old-fashioned, you wont hear many people saying that. but to me it does not sound horrible at all! in fact, i thought it was cute.
another dutch word for it would be "lieflijk", translatable, sort of, to sweet, charming, or lovely (although those words dont give me the same feeling). i would like to have "lieflijk" on my grave. its different.. but cute. im just confused about the "also". why is there "also" on her grave? were there multiple wives?
hmm... i do have to say its bad ofcourse that she is just mentioned as "wife of mr blablabla"

anyways. just one pic for my post. i planned on loading my flickr page with more... but its late, yet again. the bf is sleeping since an hour already...

Julie said...

Well, I have made it again. Visited you all, and what a magnificent journey I have been on for the last few weeks.

I never know where you will take me next: from Mexico, to Russia, to Western Germany to the mouth of the Brisbane River.

Wonderful, folks. Simply wonderful.

I will keep monitoring, so if any one else wishes still to join in, feel free so to do.

Kathy said...

And then there's Maude (with an e in this case). Whenever I hear that name I think of the theme song to the TV series of the 1970s starring Bea Arthur (one of the Golden Girls). Wondering if you Aussies enjoyed that one too. Poor Maud. At least she wasn't totally forgotten.

RoeH said...

I put a cemetery post on my blog yesterday and Diane sent me a note telling me to check out your blog. I already love it! There's just something about cemeteries. I love Family History.

Julie said...

Welcome aboard, Roe. I have visited your post about the fabled missing gold depost of the Lost Dutchman. Quite a yarn.