Monday, December 26, 2011

Pressent, Pressents (for Present, Presents)

Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done
She gave her father forty-one.

Without doubt, the most humorous Christmas present I received this year was “Lizzie’s Leftovers,” a small tin adorned with this jump-rope rhyme and a portrait of the infamous Ms. Borden herself. Inside was a tasty selection of foil-wrapped chocolate body parts!

I remember well the 1975 made-for-television movie The Legend of Lizzie Borden, in which actress Elizabeth Montgomery played the title role. But until I searched for Lizzie’s portrait on Wikipedia, I had no idea America’s favorite witch might actually have been related to the alleged axe murderess–they were thought to be sixth cousins, once removed.

Pressent appears five times in English-language OhioLINK entries, while a search for Pressents yields one.

(Lizzie Borden, circa 1889, from Wikimedia Commons)

Deb Kulczak

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