char siu, raper

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Mon Jun 2 19:49:46 UTC 2008

The online AHD gives neither of these.

"Char siu" (Wikipedia also gives chashao, cha siu and char siew) has been on menus as alternative wording for "barbecue pork" for years in Seattle; I would guess at least twenty. Yesterday, I saw it typewritten in Makawao, HI, at a grocery store.

"Raper" is more unusual, a word used by George R.R. Martin in _A Game of Thrones_ (Bantam Sept 1997) on multiple occasions. On page 119:

With him were a pair of ragged peasant boys from the Fingers. "Rapers," Yoren said with a cold look at his charges. Tyrion understood. Life on the Wall was said to be hard, but no doubt it was preferable to castration.

So far in my reading of this book, this is the closest Martin comes to defining what a raper is; I assume it's the same as a rapist. This is a fantasy book, but most of the events are realistic. Given the multiple appearances of the word, it seems to simply be an idiosyncratic part of Martin's vocabulary.

aloha from maui
Benjamin Barrett

The American Dialect Society -

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