The peapod pendant

Georgia Morgan (now retired from linguistics in Brattleboro VT, where she creates and sells amazing jewelry) on Facebook on 8/3:

— GM: I will be at the Brattleboro Area Farmers’ Market this Saturday in the Rosie’s Wonders booth. Bringing these, and lots more …

(#1) Including this peapod pendant

— AZ: Love the peapod. I would wear that (except that I can no longer manage any kind of jewelry with my poor disabled hands)

— GM > AZ: If you ever want one, I do make pendants with an adjustable sliding closure that just go on over your head

— AZ > GM: Georgia, if you can do that for the peapod, I want one.

And it has been done. Georgia is working on the pendant; the check is in the mail. It’s my birthday present to myself; I have a prime birthday, my 83rd (I still can’t quite believe that I have somehow managed to live this long) in a month from now, 9/6.

A&J’s jewelry history. From my 10/12/21 posting “Sapphires for two”:

back in the last century, [Jacques and I] had masculine jewelry, though nothing quite like some of the things I found on a net search yesterday [the sapphires of the posting’s title].

From the A&J jewelry trove, unworn for a great many years now (my poor arthritic fingers can’t cope with any of it) — displayed here on a suitably masculine denim jacket:

(#2) (in no particular order) A silver mesh choker; a bold silver choker (J and I shared the chokers); a plain silver chain; a big pendant for a chain (mine); a black anodized aluminum chain with rainbow links (for gay events; J and I shared it); a very delicate chain with a square silver pendant with a stone set in it (surprisingly, J’s); a silver bracelet with an oval onyx stone; a plain silver bracelet (the bracelets were mine, for my thin wrists); silver cufflinks with malachite stones (from Brighton SX, a gift from me to J)

A note on the spelling of the compound noun. All the sources I’m quoting from here have the compound spelled solid, as peapod. The solid spelling is also the one used in the name of the American on-line grocery delivery service, Peapod.

But my spellchecker flags every occurrence of peapod, nagging at me to spell it separated, as pea pod. My usual one-volume lexicographically respectable dictionaries, NOAD and AHD5, have no entry for the compound at all, presumably in the belief that it’s an entirely transparent compound of pea (for the plant) and pod (NOAD: 1 [a] an elongated seed vessel of a leguminous plant such as the pea, splitting open on both sides when ripe).

OED2 has only separated pea pod: The pod or legume of the pea plant, which contains the peas.

So what I’m seeing, at least in my cultural environment, is only the solid spelling, while such authorities as there are seem to have only the separated.

At least nobody seems to be opting for the third option, hyphenated spelling: pea-pod. On the other hand, there are spellings of proper names with medial capitals (aka CamelCase): PeaPod.

Symbolism of the peapod 1. For me, the peapod is a masculine symbol, a hyperbolic image of the (two) testes nestled within the protective scrotum (2 will get you 5).

But, as I point out regularly on this blog, symbols are just stuff, with no intrinsic, single meaning; a symbol can bear many different meanings, evoke many different associations, in different contexts, for different people.

Even I, with my ridiculous genital focus (I am entirely aware that my many kinks, considered dispassionately, lie on a scale from the silly to the preposterous, but they are my kinks, and I treasure them), immediately see another way of seeing the peapod symbolically.

Symbolism of the peapod 2. It turns on the idiom like two peas in a pod (from the Cambridge Dictionary on-line: very similar, especially in appearance: The twins are like two peas in a pod.) From which we get the peapod as a symbol of common humanity, of the unity of all human beings: though each of us is unique, we all share many characteristics.

Symbolism of the peapod 3. From the website Behind the Recipe — Jeri Quinzio: The stories behind recipes of the past and, sometimes, the present, “Peas symbols. Or, why peas are perfect for Valentine’s Day” (also note the spelling pea pod), on 1/26/22:

(#3) A pea pod (with 10 peas)

This Valentine’s Day, do something different. Forget flowers and candy. Present your lover with peas.

We may have forgotten the folklore, but for centuries, peas and pea pods (earlier called peascods) have been tiny symbols of love, romance, and fertility. Not merely a healthful food, simple side dish, or soup ingredient, peas are a rich source of stories and legends. They’re teeming with tradition.

… Both peas and pea pods had long been associated with love and marriage. Because pea pods shield little baby peas and ensure their safe delivery, businesses catering to pregnant women are often called some variation of “peas in a pod.”

According to David Moore, a nineteenth-century writer on gardening, “Peas and Peascods  are connected with wooing the lasses.” A lad would pick peapods and if the peas remained in the pod, he presented it to the lass of his choice.

… Folklore was also filled with stories about young women using peas to identify the right men.

There follows a recipe for braised lettuce and peas. Very simple but p(l)easing.


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