Down the Rabbit-hole

Anne here. I sent the wenches down a rabbit-hole last week. It was for something quite small, really, but I thought it might give you an idea of the kind of rabbit-holes we wenches regularly dive down in the quest for historical accuracy.

I was writing a scene where the heroine, who’s hot and tired is alone and on foot in the countryside. She is cooling her aching feet in a little stream, when she meets a handsome itinerant, who comes to fill a bucket and a small pot in the stream.

The water in the bucket is for his horse, and he mentions that the small pot is for making a cup of tea. She’s just thinking that she’d kill for a cup of tea, when he offers her one.

Billycan-on-the-campfire

That’s it. Barely worth a mention, you think. Only at first I called the small pot a billy-can, or a billy, which is what we use in Australia. Throughout my childhood, every barbecue we had in the bush, Dad would “boil the billy” which means he’d make tea for him and Mum and any other adults. Not coffee, and tea wasn’t for the kids — we drank pure, clear creek water. Pretty much any Australian would know what “boil the billy” meant. It  looked like this (though many billies have a lid and some are even fancy and enamelled.)

Billytea2-200x300There are even old-fashioned tins of tea called Billy Tea. They're now collectors' items. And in the song Waltzing Matilda the swagman was waiting 'till his billy boiled. You rarely see swagmen these days — they were lone itinerants and they carried their "swag" — their possessions— on their back, but the billy always hung free, ready to make a cuppa. 

So I happiy continued with the scene. . . and then started to have second thoughts. Would it be called a billy at that time in that place?  Such things we historical writers have to consider. Hmm… So I looked up the OED (Oxford Englsih Dictionary) which tells when and where a word first appears in print. And sure enough, “billy” in the sense I was using it was an Australian/NZ term first seen in print in 1849. Curses!

So, what to call it? I asked the brains trust — ie the wenches. And they jumped right in. Here are just some of their responses — I'm sparing you the whole discussion.

Oooo, a challenge to get the gears working this AM. Cauldron was the first thing that came to my mind because that hangs or sits over a fire. So I looked up covered cauldron and got this (click on the link)

Whole bunch of fun words there but I went with plain old stewpot and checked with the historical dictionary: So it's accurate and one assumes it had a cover. I had no idea that casserole dated that far back!

Interesting question, Anne. I knew that billy was ANZ, but I can't think of any particular term other than pot. I just looked up pot in my Synonym Finder and none of the words seemed particularly historical and interesting.

You could call it a small kettle, I think.

But a kettle would have a spout, wouldn't it?  It would probably be more of an all purpose pot, good for heating water for tea or cooking soup or whatever.

I think it depends on what era you’re talking about. I would call it a small cooking pot or hanging cauldron (but it wouldn’t have a lid). Wikipedia says there was something called a bouilli can but not before 1835. Not sure how accurate that is?

My mind went to the medieval kettle – basically an iron cauldron or cooking pot. Footed, with handles, hangs on a chain over the fire. The origin of kettle is Old Norse, ketil, for cauldron or pot. Like this museum replica – see pic below.

Screen Shot 2023-07-28 at 4.56.47 PM

Noodling around on google this morning, looks like the spouted tea kettle idea took over the kettle/cauldron identification. Probably once people became tea and coffee drinkers. <g> 

To which I replied:

I knew about the old medieval kettle (and the kettle drums named after them) but in this scene he's just boiling water over an open fire to make a cup of tea. My impression of kettles or cauldrons is that they were much larger, (or had a spout) and even though the one in the picture you linked to is perfect, I think most modern readers would expect a cauldron to be large and think a kettle would have a spout.

Oh the rabbit holes we fall down— willingly hurl ourselves down, in fact.  Because it's not just a matter of being historically accurate, it also needs to convey the right image to a modern reader. So cauldron, I thought would conjure up notions of big cook pots and witches brewing potions.
So in the end, I called it a small, blackened pot. <g>

All in all, this discussion went for 32 messages. All just to make a cup of tea — and who knows, when I come to revise the book I might even decide on a better way for them to meet, and ditch the pot/kettle/billy/cauldron and the cup of tea completely.

Does it surprise you that we wenches would go to so much trouble over a single word? Do you think readers would even care? What would you call my little pot for tea-making — and other purposes?

 

 

 

69 thoughts on “Down the Rabbit-hole”

  1. It doesn’t surprise me at all. I go down those rabbit holes quite often myself when something catches my interest. Prior to computers, I used encyclopedias. But computers make it so easy.
    And I would call it a small pot just as you did.

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  2. It doesn’t surprise me at all. I go down those rabbit holes quite often myself when something catches my interest. Prior to computers, I used encyclopedias. But computers make it so easy.
    And I would call it a small pot just as you did.

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  3. Without even reading the first paragraph I looked at the first picture and thought pail. The OED defines pail as an open-topped vessel with a hooped carrying handle, typically of slightly tapering cylindrical shape, used esp. for holding or carrying liquid, derived from Old English c. 1341. Billy would not convey the right image to me, but pot or pail does. I appreciate the research authors do to be historically accurate and am not likely to read an author again if they get it wrong. Thanks for letting us in on the Wenches working discussions, it is fun reading.

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  4. Without even reading the first paragraph I looked at the first picture and thought pail. The OED defines pail as an open-topped vessel with a hooped carrying handle, typically of slightly tapering cylindrical shape, used esp. for holding or carrying liquid, derived from Old English c. 1341. Billy would not convey the right image to me, but pot or pail does. I appreciate the research authors do to be historically accurate and am not likely to read an author again if they get it wrong. Thanks for letting us in on the Wenches working discussions, it is fun reading.

    Reply
  5. No, not surprised. And while most people might not notice, there will be that ONE person it will bother and who will email you to let you know that the term wasn’t in use until X date. (Full disclosure: I may be that person that it bugs. I’ve refrained from emailing because I don’t want to be THAT person.)
    Plus, there are so many cool things you learn chasing rabbits.

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  6. No, not surprised. And while most people might not notice, there will be that ONE person it will bother and who will email you to let you know that the term wasn’t in use until X date. (Full disclosure: I may be that person that it bugs. I’ve refrained from emailing because I don’t want to be THAT person.)
    Plus, there are so many cool things you learn chasing rabbits.

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  7. No surprise at all! After all, much of the fun is in the rabbit holes, as I was telling my granddaughter the other day. A week’s research can end up in a single sentence, or be left out completely and tucked away to be the start of an entirely different book.

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  8. No surprise at all! After all, much of the fun is in the rabbit holes, as I was telling my granddaughter the other day. A week’s research can end up in a single sentence, or be left out completely and tucked away to be the start of an entirely different book.

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  9. Looking at some old songbooks that have the song Waltzing Matilda. They give explanations of the Aussie words. Billy “can to heat water for tea.” When we go backpacking, we use a small pot with no handle and use simple tongs or pliers to grip it and pour. We have a set of three nesting pots which are used for heating any of the food we want to fix as well as for water to wash the dishes.
    I love going down rabbit holes (better than some other creature’s holes) and learn all kinds of new things – do not retain many. Thanks for this glimpse into the Wenches.

    Reply
  10. Looking at some old songbooks that have the song Waltzing Matilda. They give explanations of the Aussie words. Billy “can to heat water for tea.” When we go backpacking, we use a small pot with no handle and use simple tongs or pliers to grip it and pour. We have a set of three nesting pots which are used for heating any of the food we want to fix as well as for water to wash the dishes.
    I love going down rabbit holes (better than some other creature’s holes) and learn all kinds of new things – do not retain many. Thanks for this glimpse into the Wenches.

    Reply
  11. Thank you for this fun rabbit hole question, Anne.
    It doesn’t surprise me. Writers want to be accurate, so that no reader gives them grief about a mistaken name of an object during a certain time period.
    I’m not sure what word to use for this item. I think your description of a small blackened pot is the best answer.
    It covers every era. A blacksmith would fashion one out of metal with a bail attached for carrying.

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  12. Thank you for this fun rabbit hole question, Anne.
    It doesn’t surprise me. Writers want to be accurate, so that no reader gives them grief about a mistaken name of an object during a certain time period.
    I’m not sure what word to use for this item. I think your description of a small blackened pot is the best answer.
    It covers every era. A blacksmith would fashion one out of metal with a bail attached for carrying.

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  13. What a fun post, Anne. And, yes, were you to use ‘billy,’ I’d assume the story was set in Australia. I think that ‘a small, blackened pot’ works well.

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  14. What a fun post, Anne. And, yes, were you to use ‘billy,’ I’d assume the story was set in Australia. I think that ‘a small, blackened pot’ works well.

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  15. Thanks, Mary — yes computers and Google have made it so easy to disappear down rabbit holes, haven’t they? Every little thing is lookable-up.
    The trouble with “small pot” is that some people call saucepans pots. But it’s the closest I can get to the thing I’m imagining.

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  16. Thanks, Mary — yes computers and Google have made it so easy to disappear down rabbit holes, haven’t they? Every little thing is lookable-up.
    The trouble with “small pot” is that some people call saucepans pots. But it’s the closest I can get to the thing I’m imagining.

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  17. Thanks, Denise — I never would have thought of “pail” — though Jack and Jill were fetching a pail of water. The difficulty is not simply the date of use, but whether people in different English-speaking countries would imaging the same item. And “billy” was wrong on both counts.
    But we wenches do tend to get a bit perfectionist.

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  18. Thanks, Denise — I never would have thought of “pail” — though Jack and Jill were fetching a pail of water. The difficulty is not simply the date of use, but whether people in different English-speaking countries would imaging the same item. And “billy” was wrong on both counts.
    But we wenches do tend to get a bit perfectionist.

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  19. Oh yes, Tempest — we’ve all made some small mistake or other and had one or more people write to us about it. And sometimes they don’t write to the author, but they blast it across the internet. But once a book is in print, it’s generally too late to change it.
    But I do understand the desire to correct something — I occasionally have the same impulse. There’s an author I read and enjoy who always says “I” when it should be “me” — eg. Julie gave a really nice present to John and I. I find myself telling the books, “it should be me, not I !! Remove John from that sentence and you get: Julie gave a really nice present to I. See how wrong it sounds! I so want to write to her, but of course I don’t.

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  20. Oh yes, Tempest — we’ve all made some small mistake or other and had one or more people write to us about it. And sometimes they don’t write to the author, but they blast it across the internet. But once a book is in print, it’s generally too late to change it.
    But I do understand the desire to correct something — I occasionally have the same impulse. There’s an author I read and enjoy who always says “I” when it should be “me” — eg. Julie gave a really nice present to John and I. I find myself telling the books, “it should be me, not I !! Remove John from that sentence and you get: Julie gave a really nice present to I. See how wrong it sounds! I so want to write to her, but of course I don’t.

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  21. So true, Lillian Marek. I once talked to an aspiring writer who’d spent the last week researching the making and embroidering of medieval gloves. Fascinating, no doubt, but I generally leave that kind of research until the end, when I’m sure that scene is going to stay.
    Another writer I know, who loves antiques, describes every piece of furniture in her books in great detail. Her characters never just sit down at a table, it’s always lovingly described for at least a paragraph or two. I’m sure her readers love it, but I often skip reading that kind of thing.

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  22. So true, Lillian Marek. I once talked to an aspiring writer who’d spent the last week researching the making and embroidering of medieval gloves. Fascinating, no doubt, but I generally leave that kind of research until the end, when I’m sure that scene is going to stay.
    Another writer I know, who loves antiques, describes every piece of furniture in her books in great detail. Her characters never just sit down at a table, it’s always lovingly described for at least a paragraph or two. I’m sure her readers love it, but I often skip reading that kind of thing.

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  23. Thanks, Patricia. Yes, that’s the kind of thing I meant. It’s not just important to be accurate to the era the book is set in, but also has to be imagined in different countries.
    The thing is, I planned to have the man swing the pot of boiling water in a huge circle — which is what we often do here with a billy — which would alarm the heroine somewhat. But I’m not sure it would work with anything other than a billy, so I’ve had to leave it out. There’s a picture here — click on the link and scroll down for a picture of a man swinging the billy. https://www.2aussietravellers.com/billy-tea/

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  24. Thanks, Patricia. Yes, that’s the kind of thing I meant. It’s not just important to be accurate to the era the book is set in, but also has to be imagined in different countries.
    The thing is, I planned to have the man swing the pot of boiling water in a huge circle — which is what we often do here with a billy — which would alarm the heroine somewhat. But I’m not sure it would work with anything other than a billy, so I’ve had to leave it out. There’s a picture here — click on the link and scroll down for a picture of a man swinging the billy. https://www.2aussietravellers.com/billy-tea/

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  25. Interesting thought experiment! To me, “pail” would conjure up the best image: basic, not-too-heavy for an itinerant, possibility for aural sense (clinking on something). Visually, perhaps “sooty” rather than blackened, “dented,” or even “well-used.” These ARE things I think about in the middle of reading! Whatever. I’m sure the right image will come if needed, Anne.

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  26. Interesting thought experiment! To me, “pail” would conjure up the best image: basic, not-too-heavy for an itinerant, possibility for aural sense (clinking on something). Visually, perhaps “sooty” rather than blackened, “dented,” or even “well-used.” These ARE things I think about in the middle of reading! Whatever. I’m sure the right image will come if needed, Anne.

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  27. I’m not sure I would use tea at all. Presumably the protagonists are rich so the price would not matter. I found a site that had a receipt for two packs of tea from the 1800s costing over one pound, the equivalent of £50 sterling today or over a month’s wages for a manual worker. Tea was something of a luxury item; more expensive than chocolate and kept it in a locked caddie to keep it away from the servants’ sticky fingers. In these days of teabags dropped into mug we forget what a pfaff it was to make.I don’t know about Australia but leaf tea is now a speciality but in the UK. Our hero would have needed another receptacle to brew/steep (or other word of choice depending on which part of the UK you live in and a sieve to prevent a mouth full of wet tea leaves. Tea was almost always drunk with milk (NEVER cream as often appears in novels). When I was researching it I could not find even China tea drunk without milk. There is even a written etiquette from the period about the correct way of making and serving it. I think his maiden would turn her nose up at such an ad hoc offering.
    Any hero for coffee?!

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  28. I’m not sure I would use tea at all. Presumably the protagonists are rich so the price would not matter. I found a site that had a receipt for two packs of tea from the 1800s costing over one pound, the equivalent of £50 sterling today or over a month’s wages for a manual worker. Tea was something of a luxury item; more expensive than chocolate and kept it in a locked caddie to keep it away from the servants’ sticky fingers. In these days of teabags dropped into mug we forget what a pfaff it was to make.I don’t know about Australia but leaf tea is now a speciality but in the UK. Our hero would have needed another receptacle to brew/steep (or other word of choice depending on which part of the UK you live in and a sieve to prevent a mouth full of wet tea leaves. Tea was almost always drunk with milk (NEVER cream as often appears in novels). When I was researching it I could not find even China tea drunk without milk. There is even a written etiquette from the period about the correct way of making and serving it. I think his maiden would turn her nose up at such an ad hoc offering.
    Any hero for coffee?!

    Reply
  29. One of the most wonderful things about the internet….one can fall down rabbit holes. I am not an author, but I find that one thing can lead to another and before I know it, it’s Tuesday and I had started on Saturday.
    Ok, maybe not that long, but looking at a picture of what I would call “pail”, could lead me on a wonderful adventure. For me, the rabbit holes generally start with a person. An historical figure, or an actor or actress from the past, or an author, or ….as you can see…..I love rabbit holes. At times, I am led by news stories or it could be a discussion by a group of authors.
    I would not have recognized what a Billy Tea would be. But, I can imagine boiling in an open pail, or small pot. I can imagine boiling water over the coals of a fire, or cooking potatoes among the coals, or using sticks to cook hot dogs over a flame. I have done those things.
    Thanks so much for this post.

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  30. One of the most wonderful things about the internet….one can fall down rabbit holes. I am not an author, but I find that one thing can lead to another and before I know it, it’s Tuesday and I had started on Saturday.
    Ok, maybe not that long, but looking at a picture of what I would call “pail”, could lead me on a wonderful adventure. For me, the rabbit holes generally start with a person. An historical figure, or an actor or actress from the past, or an author, or ….as you can see…..I love rabbit holes. At times, I am led by news stories or it could be a discussion by a group of authors.
    I would not have recognized what a Billy Tea would be. But, I can imagine boiling in an open pail, or small pot. I can imagine boiling water over the coals of a fire, or cooking potatoes among the coals, or using sticks to cook hot dogs over a flame. I have done those things.
    Thanks so much for this post.

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  31. And that lovely OED is another blessed rabbit hole! Tracking the history of a word is as fascinating as tracking other details! And now I’m hearing Waltzing Matilda in my mind! Better than some other songs!

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  32. And that lovely OED is another blessed rabbit hole! Tracking the history of a word is as fascinating as tracking other details! And now I’m hearing Waltzing Matilda in my mind! Better than some other songs!

    Reply
  33. I’m not surprised either and glad that ye do. I learn so much from reading historical novels and often look things up afterwards to get more information on something that has piqued my interest. I picture a tall, spouted can with a lid when you mention his making tea, we had something like that in Ireland many years ago.

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  34. I’m not surprised either and glad that ye do. I learn so much from reading historical novels and often look things up afterwards to get more information on something that has piqued my interest. I picture a tall, spouted can with a lid when you mention his making tea, we had something like that in Ireland many years ago.

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  35. Thanks, Mary. The trouble with “pail” for me is that I don’t think I’ve ever heard it used outside of the Jack & Jilll rhyme, and it conjures up an image of a bucket, which is larger than I want for this scene. It might well be commonly used in other countries, but I need a universal term.

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  36. Thanks, Mary. The trouble with “pail” for me is that I don’t think I’ve ever heard it used outside of the Jack & Jilll rhyme, and it conjures up an image of a bucket, which is larger than I want for this scene. It might well be commonly used in other countries, but I need a universal term.

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  37. Thanks, Lynne — and you’ve spotted some of the underlying signals in this scene. Suffice it to say he’s not the usual itinerant, and they’re both in a country where tea is not a common drink — it (very subtly) signals their mutual Englishness. As for the mouthful of wet tealeaves, there are ways of preventing this without using a sieve — my parents who drank billy tea at every opportunity never used a sieve and never ended up with a mouthful of wet tea-leaves. I’ll make a pot of tea now and see how it goes without a tea strainer. From memory the leaves sink to the bottom, and you pour carefully. With a billy they used to swing it in a wide vertical circle.
    Teabags are common here, too, but leaf tea is still very much available. I remember when we had a visiting author (came to speak at an Australian conference) who was a passionate tea drinker and wanted real loose-leaf tea for her hotel room. I took her to the nearest 24 hour convenience store and she was stunned to find there were several choices. That was a few years ago, but leaf tea is certainly still widely available in supermarkets here.
    As for cream in tea — we never have it here either — just milk, and perhaps sugar. And certain kinds of tea should never be served with milk, either. I think cream in tea is a US term. We don’t tend to have cream in coffee either, unless for something special like Irish Coffee, where it is carefully poured so it sits on the top.

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  38. Thanks, Lynne — and you’ve spotted some of the underlying signals in this scene. Suffice it to say he’s not the usual itinerant, and they’re both in a country where tea is not a common drink — it (very subtly) signals their mutual Englishness. As for the mouthful of wet tealeaves, there are ways of preventing this without using a sieve — my parents who drank billy tea at every opportunity never used a sieve and never ended up with a mouthful of wet tea-leaves. I’ll make a pot of tea now and see how it goes without a tea strainer. From memory the leaves sink to the bottom, and you pour carefully. With a billy they used to swing it in a wide vertical circle.
    Teabags are common here, too, but leaf tea is still very much available. I remember when we had a visiting author (came to speak at an Australian conference) who was a passionate tea drinker and wanted real loose-leaf tea for her hotel room. I took her to the nearest 24 hour convenience store and she was stunned to find there were several choices. That was a few years ago, but leaf tea is certainly still widely available in supermarkets here.
    As for cream in tea — we never have it here either — just milk, and perhaps sugar. And certain kinds of tea should never be served with milk, either. I think cream in tea is a US term. We don’t tend to have cream in coffee either, unless for something special like Irish Coffee, where it is carefully poured so it sits on the top.

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  39. Thanks, Annette — yes the rabbit holes of the internet are quite addictive. I can lose hours just poking about following something of interest. Whatever did we do without it?
    I hope the scene will be clear enough for readers to understand it.

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  40. Thanks, Annette — yes the rabbit holes of the internet are quite addictive. I can lose hours just poking about following something of interest. Whatever did we do without it?
    I hope the scene will be clear enough for readers to understand it.

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  41. Thanks, Teresa. I’m not envisaging anything with a spout though, but hopefully “small blackened pot” will conjure up an image with will work for most people, even if yours has a spout and others don’t.

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  42. Thanks, Teresa. I’m not envisaging anything with a spout though, but hopefully “small blackened pot” will conjure up an image with will work for most people, even if yours has a spout and others don’t.

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  43. Lynn, I just tried making tea with loose leaf teas (Twinings English Breakfast) in a large mug. I popped a small teaspoon of tea into the mug, poured boiling water over it, stirred it and waited a minute or so for it to steep. All the leaves sank to the bottom and stayed there and I was able to drink it without getting any tea leaves in my mouth — though it was a bit strong for my taste — I didn’t add anything else, no milk or sugar. Toward the end of the mug I might have got a mouthful of tealeaves if I’d tried to drain it, but of course I didn’t do that.
    Try it yourself and see.

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  44. Lynn, I just tried making tea with loose leaf teas (Twinings English Breakfast) in a large mug. I popped a small teaspoon of tea into the mug, poured boiling water over it, stirred it and waited a minute or so for it to steep. All the leaves sank to the bottom and stayed there and I was able to drink it without getting any tea leaves in my mouth — though it was a bit strong for my taste — I didn’t add anything else, no milk or sugar. Toward the end of the mug I might have got a mouthful of tealeaves if I’d tried to drain it, but of course I didn’t do that.
    Try it yourself and see.

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  45. Pail to me is something you use to fetch water, carry grain, milk the cow into and then carry the milk to the house. An all purpose container. In other words a bucket. Definitely too big generally speaking to heat water for tea.
    On the other hand, I’m sure people traveling, gypsies, etc. would have small “pails” to cook with. In our camping supplies we do have small pots with handles that we use on the camping stove.
    If you think about it, pails/pots are more packable than a sauce pan with a handle sticking out.
    Sauce pan means a pan with a handle (to me).
    Pot indicates a deeper container like for soup/stew, etc. Something that requires depth. At least in my opinion.
    Nuances…the nuances of a blackened object on the fire… Grin!
    Oh yes, I did love the article about the communal discussion and dash down the rabbit hole. Feel free to write on another rabbit hole topic!!
    I think you could probably swirl a saucepan to get things to settle.

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  46. Pail to me is something you use to fetch water, carry grain, milk the cow into and then carry the milk to the house. An all purpose container. In other words a bucket. Definitely too big generally speaking to heat water for tea.
    On the other hand, I’m sure people traveling, gypsies, etc. would have small “pails” to cook with. In our camping supplies we do have small pots with handles that we use on the camping stove.
    If you think about it, pails/pots are more packable than a sauce pan with a handle sticking out.
    Sauce pan means a pan with a handle (to me).
    Pot indicates a deeper container like for soup/stew, etc. Something that requires depth. At least in my opinion.
    Nuances…the nuances of a blackened object on the fire… Grin!
    Oh yes, I did love the article about the communal discussion and dash down the rabbit hole. Feel free to write on another rabbit hole topic!!
    I think you could probably swirl a saucepan to get things to settle.

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  47. Thanks for those suggestions, Vicki. The kind of swirling I meant when we use a billy is vertical — like a ferris wheel. But when I made a cup of loose-leaf tea yesterday, I only had to stir it after pouring boiling water over the leaves, and they sank to the bottom and stayed there. The water has to be boiling, though, not merely hot.

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  48. Thanks for those suggestions, Vicki. The kind of swirling I meant when we use a billy is vertical — like a ferris wheel. But when I made a cup of loose-leaf tea yesterday, I only had to stir it after pouring boiling water over the leaves, and they sank to the bottom and stayed there. The water has to be boiling, though, not merely hot.

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  49. I will try, purely in the spirit of research you understand and because of your experimental archaeology!
    My husband moans because I leave a little coffee in the bottom of the mug but he makes it with a stove top Moka and there are always a few grouts. It’s my ‘princess and the pea’ thing.
    I do enjoy the musings from all of you. I believe I could not write a readable novel if my life depended on it. However I am fascinated by the creative process and the people behind the books. I once read that Sir Alec Guinness approached a character feet first so to speak, choosing the right socks and shoes. That individuality seems to be present in the writing process too. Fascinating. Please keep the articles coming.

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  50. I will try, purely in the spirit of research you understand and because of your experimental archaeology!
    My husband moans because I leave a little coffee in the bottom of the mug but he makes it with a stove top Moka and there are always a few grouts. It’s my ‘princess and the pea’ thing.
    I do enjoy the musings from all of you. I believe I could not write a readable novel if my life depended on it. However I am fascinated by the creative process and the people behind the books. I once read that Sir Alec Guinness approached a character feet first so to speak, choosing the right socks and shoes. That individuality seems to be present in the writing process too. Fascinating. Please keep the articles coming.

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  51. Best of luck with the experiment, Lynn. I’m chuckling at the Alec Guinness socks and shoes thing — I suspect a lot of people have particular rituals that get them in the right frame of mind. Some can be quite superstitious about it.

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  52. Best of luck with the experiment, Lynn. I’m chuckling at the Alec Guinness socks and shoes thing — I suspect a lot of people have particular rituals that get them in the right frame of mind. Some can be quite superstitious about it.

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  53. It doesn’t surprise me in the least. I spend too much time down rabbit holes because I also consider historical and cultural accuracy paramount in my writing. P. S. I’m a relative newcomer to Regency romance writing and self publish so you won’t recognize my name, but that is okay because I write for my own enjoyment and haven’t done any advertising. Love your Wordwenches newsletter.
    Betty

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  54. It doesn’t surprise me in the least. I spend too much time down rabbit holes because I also consider historical and cultural accuracy paramount in my writing. P. S. I’m a relative newcomer to Regency romance writing and self publish so you won’t recognize my name, but that is okay because I write for my own enjoyment and haven’t done any advertising. Love your Wordwenches newsletter.
    Betty

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