I’m having so much fun going through my old Word of the Week entries and redoing some of the oldest ones. I don’t know about you, but I don’t remember all these tidbits I’ve looked up in the past! LOL. This one comes to you from 2011. Appropriate, again, since I’m editing the book I mention below, Dreams of Savannah, to release in the Winter 2020/21 season from Bethany House!

I can’t tell you how much time I spent
chasing rabbits down trails (literarily speaking) for a one-line
mention in my books. Like, did they have bells over the doors in 18th
century New York? Hard to discover.
This last week, one of my random
questions was, thankfully, easily answered. I wanted a character to
mention a cameo necklace, which I was pretty darn sure were around and
popular by the 1860s, but I’ve been wrong before. So I looked it up.
I was pleased to see that cameo,
by which I mean a carved stone with two layers of color, has been
around since the 16th century. Cameos maintained a steady popularity for
centuries–Elizabeth I had a sizable collection, as did Catherine the
Great. And since Queen Victoria favored them, they even stuck around
during the fast-changing fashion of the 19th century.
In 1851 the word was attributed
to “a short literary sketch or portrait.” Very much related to the
pendant, which commonly depict a bust or figure (though not always). And
so this sense was also transferred to the stage/film in 1928, when it
came to mean “a brief role that stands out from other minor parts in a
I have a cameo necklace I
inherited from my great-grandmother, and I love it. =) There’s something
so very romantic about those treasures from times past . . .

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