Home » Food and Meals » Have to Eat a Peck of Dirt

Have to Eat a Peck of Dirt

Play episode

Andrew from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, recalls a phrase his grandmother used: You’ve got to eat a peck of dirt before you die. A peck is a unit of dry measure equal to a quarter of a bushel. Peck is also a term of approximate measure, as in to be in a peck of trouble or the old lyric I love you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck. A longer form of the philosophical observation about eating a peck of dirt is You have to eat a peck of dirt before you die, but nobody wants to eat it all at once. Another bit of advice goes: If you have to eat dirt, eat clean dirt. An older version, going back at least 400 years, is You have to eat a peck of ashes before you die. Incidentally, translators of ancient Greek have long rendered a Greek unit of dry measure, medimos, as the English word peck, as when noting the proverbial peck of salt that one must share with a friend to form a truly intimate bond. In other words, friendships form over long periods of time, little by little, like the salt one consumes over a shared dinner. This is part of a complete episode.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More from this show

Recent posts

Food and Meals