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funeral baked meat

English translation: meat pie

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21:42 Dec 25, 2005
English to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature
English term or phrase: funeral baked meat
The couple have lost their daughter and neighbours are respectfully taking care of them, serving them lots of food. “We felt like priest and priestess, receiving the sacrifices of the faithful, which were all handed over with the same sad nodding smile, the same embarrassed mumbled condolences… But it all came too late, the muttered invocations, the promised prayers, the funeral baked meats, for the maiden had already gone to the sacrifice.”

Is this “funeral baked meat” something that is brought to the mourning ones by some kind of British custom (like in Turkey, “helva” – semolina roasted with fat and sugar – is presented), or is it perhaps an ancient traditions – or sth wholly else, like a metaphor for any votive offering?
dalg?c
Local time: 18:44
English translation:meat pie
Explanation:
It is not a metaphor.
Selected response from:

Michael Barnett
Local time: 11:44
Grading comment
thanx
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +6meat pie
Michael Barnett
3 +1See explanation below...
Tony M
4 -3crematedAnna Maria Augustine at proZ.com


  

Answers


3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): -3
cremated


Explanation:
burnt in other words

Anna Maria Augustine at proZ.com
France
Local time: 17:44
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in category: 52

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Tony M: Nothing to do with it at all... That's sick! /// The bad taste lies in your associating 'food eaten by mourners' with 'burnt meat' with the perfectly dignified process of cremation
16 mins
  -> It is not sick thank you very much. There is nothing wrong with cremation - it prevents disease from spreading. Have you not been to India?

disagree  Michael Barnett: Hehehehe. Dusty you are too funny! ;-)
20 mins

disagree  Can Altinbay: With all due respect, this is in poor taste.
17 hrs
  -> It is not. What is poor taste about cremating and funerals? Normal everyday event in India!
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22 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +6
meat pie


Explanation:
It is not a metaphor.


    Reference: http://www.bootlegbooks.com/Reference/PhraseAndFable/data/87...
Michael Barnett
Local time: 11:44
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 36
Grading comment
thanx

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Tony M: Whilst I agree that is one of the literal meanings, from the rest of tha language used here, i would say there is definitely a certain metaphorical intention too...
31 mins
  -> Well, OK. I concede it could be a metaphor for other offerings but nothing more abstract than that.

agree  xxxsarahl
31 mins
  -> Thanks Sarah!

agree  Kim Metzger: http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/PieHistory/FuneralPie...
1 hr
  -> Thanks Kim!

agree  Trudy Peters: no metaphor here
2 hrs
  -> Thank you Trudy!

agree  JaneTranslates: I agree with the literal translation, though "meat pie" is not the only option. The term can cover any food brought in by friends & neighbors to helps out the mourners. Meat loaf, casseroles, lasagna are popular!
6 hrs
  -> Thanks Jane! I concur! ;-)

agree  xxxAlfa Trans
12 hrs
  -> Thank you Marju! ;-)

agree  Cristina Chaplin
2 days12 hrs
  -> Thanks Awana! ;-)
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26 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
See explanation below...


Explanation:
I don't believe this is any specifically British custom, but rather a much more ancient one -- from recollection, either Biblical, or from Ancient Greece etc.

I think they're simply talking about the custom of bringing tributes of food at times of mourning; 'baked meats' might be referring to meat, but also suggests an old English usage of bake-meat meaning simply some kind of pie...

I'm never quite clear whether in ancient times there was some kind of festivity, to try and mourn the dead, or whether these were just symbolic gifts not intended for actual consumption.

Theree is, however, I think a somewhat figurative use here; there certainly IS a custom in Britain of laying on some kind of catering for mourners after a funeral, and the rivalry and snobbishness that can sometimes be involved between people trying to 'lay on the best spread' and 'do the dear departed one proud'.

Depending on the whole tone and context of the rest of the story, you may have to look a little beyond the literal meaning as I've tried to explain it.

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Note added at 52 mins (2005-12-25 22:35:02 GMT)
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Well, I don't know if it dates back even further, but apparently there is a well-known quote from Shakespeare about "funeral baked meats" --- almost certainly being used ironically by Hamlet when he says "the funeral baked meats coldly furnishing forth the marriage tables.", since his father had wasted very little time marrying his new queen after the death of Hamlet's mother (or have I got that the wrong way round --- it's a long, long time since I did Hamlet!)




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Note added at 57 mins (2005-12-25 22:40:28 GMT)
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This quote comes from a description of Appalachian traditions:

"The custom of feasting at funerals still obtains. When a death
occurs, all the neighborhood gather at the house of the deceased.
There they "sit up" with the body day and night for several days,
and eat the "funeral baked meats" that the family of the departed
one are expected to prepare."


Tony M
France
Local time: 17:44
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 252

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  xxxsarahl: I don't think it's used as a metaphor here as food is mentioned in the previous sentence.
39 mins
  -> Tx, S! 'Food' is only mentioned by Asker, but presumably the 'priest/ess', 'sacrifice', etc. are all being used in a slightly figurative way, rather than quite literally...

agree  Can Altinbay
17 hrs
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