Date: Wed, 21 Jun 1995 09:14:52 -0500


Subject: hot as toffit

In my family the expression is "hotter than Tophet." Several years

ago I saw the play "Painting Churches," written by my cousin, Tina

Howe. One of the characters (who closely resembled many men in the

family) used the expression. I was so surprised to hear it outside my

family (but not really) that I looked it up. Tophet means 'Gehenna,

hell' from "a shrine in the valley of Hinnom, south of ancient Jerusalem,

where human sacrifices, especially those of children, were performed to

Moloch," according to Webster's 3rd.

This part of the family has lived in or near Bristol, Rhode Island for

generations, although I believe Tina grew up in the Boston area.

Mary Howe

Child Language Program Phone (913) 864-4789

University of Kansas email howe[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

1082 Dole Center

Lawrence, KS 66045