At the risk of this becoming a muffincentric website, I think it is important that readers are given the fruits of Glyn Websterâ€™s tireless â€“ if no doubt tiring â€“ researches into what the OED defines as a small, flat, cake made from yeast batter and cooked on a hotplate, usually eaten split, toasted, and spread with butter, jam, etc., esp. for breakfast or tea. Interestingly, in the dictionaryâ€™s first citation, from 1703, it is spelled Moofin, and in the second, from 1747, Muffing (capitalisation in the originals). I wonder if it is too late to beat against the tides of history and to reintroduce one or other of these spellings?
Anyway, the only reason I have returned to this possibly inexhaustible topic is that, having apprised himself of the difference between true Moofins and what the rest of the world outside Britain think is a Muffing, Mr Webster has kindly provided these cut-out â€œpatchesâ€ or â€œplug-insâ€ for your heraldic muffin device. Just print, snip, â€˜nâ€™ gum!
Far away in the Antipodes, Glyn Webster has been pondering the terrible choice the lieutenant-colonel had to make between the muffins, on one side of his breakfast table, and the loaded pistols on the other. The result of Mr Websterâ€™s exercising of his cranial integuments is this splendid heraldic device:
I pointed out to Mr Webster that the muffins shown were unlikely to be the type of muffins which caused the lieutenant-colonel his dyspeptic atrocities. When you print out the device â€“ and note I say â€œwhenâ€, not â€œifâ€ â€“ you may use Tippexâ„¢ and a pencil to adjust the muffins to your preferred muffin-type should you so desire. But remember the religious ruling which states â€œuncertainty of muffin-type is no great sinâ€.
Incidentally, Mr Webster has been reading Zoonomia by Erasmus Darwin, and has found â€œmany alarming stories about pistolsâ€, but not the one involving the lieutenant-colonel and his muffins. Was De Quincey making it up?