restaurants and refectories -- and INfectories?

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Sun Dec 23 01:17:42 UTC 2007

I think that the editor was letting his sense of whimsy off the leash.  "Confectory" isn't a Real Word, either -- the OED, to which we all bow, can only define it as the English form of a Latin word meaning a ‘slaughtering-place of beasts’, but doesn't give any citations, and indicate that it may also be a variant form of "confectionary".

In light of the series of "houses", ending with the swipe at "fashionable boarding houses" with "high rates and low fare", I take the Express's refectory --> confectory --> infectory series to mean "place where one finds food" --> "place where one finds sweets" --> "place where one finds infection".  Which doesn't mean much, really.


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much lately.

----- Original Message -----
From: Doug Harris <cats22 at FRONTIERNET.NET>
Date: Saturday, December 22, 2007 10:50 am
Subject: Re: restaurants and refectories -- and INfectories?

> What, pray tell, is (or was) an "infectory"?
> Googling revealed a probably dissimilar use . . .
> >> Another hedge against any infectory agent is pitching the appropriate
> amount of fresh, high viability yeast at a temperature below 75
> degrees F.
> Since bacteria propagate at a minimum of 8 times that of yeast, this
> is why
> the right pitching amount of highly viable yeast is critical. <<
> . . . from a 2002 contribution to The Hop Vine discussion forum.
> 'Anyone have a clue?
> (the other) doug
> ----
> 1837:   New York, too, has her hotels, her restaurateurs, her
> pavilions, and
> her arcades -- her refectories, her confectories, and her infectories,
> upon
> a most munificent scale -- besides her club houses, her lodging
> houses, her
> watch houses, and above all her fashionable boarding houses -- the latter
> being notorious for two unrivalled qualifications, viz: high rates and
> low
> fare.
>         New York Daily Express, June 22, 1837, p. 2, col. 5.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

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