✹ About Monday 15 August 1664 Steven Scrivener on 30 Sep 2017 • Link This brew/bake imagery brings to mind one of the riddles from the Exeter Book (Krapp-Dobbie #45): I have heard of something wax in a corner,swell and pop, lift up the covers.A proud-minded woman seized with her handsthat boneless thing, a prince’s daughter;covered with her dress the swelling thing.(trans. Paull Franklin Baum, taken from Wikipedia) The usual answer commentators give is dough/bread. In Old English, there is a lot of wordplay going on. "Prince" here in OE is theod, "prince/lord", synonymous with OE hlaford, "lord", but etymologically "loaf-keeper". The daughter of the loaf-keeper might make the dough, covering it with a cloth ("her dress") while it rises. However, "the swelling thing" has also been interpreted as the swelling of the belly containing the "boneless thing" (first/second trimester according to AS medical understanding); or seized "the boneless thing" soon after having lifted the covers can alternatively be interpreted as the penis. In this riddle, then, "the prince's daughter" seems to anticipate the farmer's daughter jokes. (If it seems that I'm trying to get words do double service, the syntax in OE is very different, and, of course, lacks modern punctuation, so I'm just raising the possibilities.) Anyway, it would seem that Sam was employing a turn of phrase which drew on what was then a very old tradition.