341–Sunrise, Sunset…


Mother, knitter, spinner, writer, wife, weaver, host...not necessarily in that order...

3 Responses

  1. Caryn says:

    Before I went to law school I studied archaeology and Southeastern (American) archaeology in particular. Flint, or chert, is a common name for what is actually microcrystalline stone (usually quartz), a type of stone that can be flaked into stone tools. It is also the stone used in flintlock rifles and pistols, which were ignited by a piece of flint striking the “frizzen” causing sparks that ignite the black powder. Two theories for “skinflint.” The same category of stone is found all over Europe as well as the United States.

    One, prehistoric people knapped (knocked small flakes off of a rock to create a tool) chert/flint all the time. Anytime a tool was needed or needed repair, they would “sharpen” the appropriate stone by knocking off pieces, which, if they were large enough, could be used themselves as tools. A small, sharp piece of rock may work for a random small task, while the larger main piece may become an axe, arrowhead or knife. This was still very common in the US during colonial times by American indians and would have been observed by colonists/early Americans. Although it does seem a bit less likely, given the fact that this was technology used by English-speakers prior to the iron age, several hundred years ago and it does seem that a term might originate in the US and become so common in Europe by 1700 or so.

    The second theory would be that mentioned above. A flint in a rifle or pistol would get worn out eventually, and have to be replaced. Small rectangular pieces of flint are common in colonial archaeological sites for this reason. However, if you were cheap, you would use it until you couldn’t use it anymore. i would imagine that the smaller and thinner the flint, the less likely it was to fire, therefore, your cheapness would be reflected in your rifle’s success.

  2. Sarah Doty says:

    Bleak House – Oh my! Poor Joe! How sad! He is such a sweet boy and was worried about making Esther sick and how wonderful she was for not blaming him. Joe was so profound in his simple ways.

  3. I have been thinking of the term skinflint. I found this:

    skinflint (n.)
    “miser, one who makes use of contemptible economy to keep money,” 1700, slang; literally “kind of person who would skin a flint to save or gain something,” from skin (v.) + flint. Flay-flint in same sense is from 1670s.

    A flint is type of rock which is very common in the UK, more so in the south. As you know Flint was used to cause a spark to light a fire. Every time a flint is struck it looses a layer of rock. The research I have done online seems to indicate that–once the flint has been used many times it is thin. A miser would use the flint down to it is a thickness of skin. I do not have any references to prove this assertion.