Posted by Smokey Stover on November 14, 2003
In Reply to: China posted by Smokey Stover on November 13, 2003
: : : : : : OK, I suspect I'm going to suffer for this one. I was buying china for my restaurant, when it occurred to me - like a lightening bolt of course - hehe, why is china, called china? Did it start in China? Was it invented in China?
: : : : : Yes, me old china, it was.
: : : : BTW - we are talking 'chinese porcelain' as in tea sets here.
: : : : also - there is 'vitreous china' which is another name for the porcelain used in urinals and toilet bowls.
: : :
: : : 'china' is rhyming slang - china plate = mate.
: : CHINA is an acronym - common amongst British soldiers in the Middle East in WWII - for **** Hunting In North Africa
: : Porcelain was invented in China, probably in what we call the Middle Ages, and the name (as porcellana) was brought to the West by Marco Polo (who also found spaghetti, but not pizza, since tomatoes did not then grow in China). The Chinese distinguished porcelain from stoneware, not by its translucence (the Western criterion) but by the fact that it rang when tapped. Western potters admired Chinese porcelain, but only in the late 18th or 19th century were able to provide satisfactory imitations. The willow pattern famously used by Josiah Spode was designed by a Westerner but based on Chinese models. An interesting essay on chinaware, its designes, and Western imitations can be found in one of the Judge Dee books by Robert van Gulik (an expert on Chinese culture), but I cannot remember which one.
:: Silly me, the detective novel in which Van Gulik discusses chinaware is "The Willow Pattern" . Also, although everyone knows this, I should have made clear that although the food we call spaghetti was discovered in China by Marco Polo, the name we know it by is not Chinese but Italian, and means "little strings."