Notes from a pad in Oslo
20040819 Word of the Day
Cockaigne \kah-KAYN\, noun:
An imaginary land of ease and luxury.
Outside, in the dark, a wobbly patch of life upon the blue snow, the deer perhaps browsed, her soft blob of a nose rapturously sunk in the chilly winter greenery, her modest brain-stem steeped in some dream of a Cockaigne for herbivores.
-- John Updike, Toward the End of Time
Everyone was seeking renewal, a golden century, a Cockaigne of the spirit.
-- Umberto Eco, Foucault's Pendulum
Cockaigne comes from Middle English cokaygne, from Middle French pais de cocaigne (land of plenty), ultimately adapted or derived from a word meaning cake.
References to Cockaigne are prominent in medieval European lore. George Ellis, in his Specimens of Early English Poets (1790), printed an old French poem called The Land of Cockaign (13th century) where "the houses were made of barley sugar and cakes, the streets were paved with pastry, and the shops supplied goods for nothing." [ skrevet av ladislav pekar ]