This is a quote from the great Victorian author Anthony Trollope, and it is also where I got my blog title from. But what the hell does it mean? It may be Trollope at his most nonsensical. It may have some deep meaning. It may be that I will never know. Still, I like it. I looked up the word “coined”, because I think I know what a hemisphere is, but I thought “coined” might have some obscure meaning I wasn’t aware of. Google, as usual, is a fount of information.
Coin – coined past tense – 1. make (coins) by stamping metal. 2. invent or devise (a new word or phrase).
Did Trollope mean his sweetheart is more to him than a place full of money? Did he mean that his sweetheart is more to him than a newly named place?
Google got more interesting, as I went down the entries. Dictionary.com was piquant:
Archaic. a corner cupboard of the 18th century.
British Informal. to counterfeit, especially to make counterfeit money.
Surely Trollope wasn’t talking about a cupboard?? I like the British informal verb – to counterfeit. As if a hemisphere were false, a fake.
Dictionary.com also tells me that “coined” originated in 1304, with a meaning of “cornerstone, wedge”. It was an architectural term to begin with. I like that, too. A hemisphere with a corner. Or a hemisphere wedged between others.
Cambridge Dictionaries Online simply say the verb is to “invent”. I like the notion of an invented hemisphere, an invented place. A blog is certainly that.
I doubt Trollope consulted the Urban Dictionary online, but for your edification I can tell you that according to them, “coined” can mean 1. to describe a personal gain of someone else 2. A Super Mario Brothers reference when Mario jumps up and hits the boxes to get coins. 3. To beat someone at something; or
To ram into them or hit them; 4.To have sex doggy style, each thrust is a coin
You see the possibilities are endless.
So I’ve come up with my own interpretation, for the purposes of this blog. I think I’ve decided that “My sweetheart is more to me than a coined hemisphere,” means that something precious is more than a so-called place. A coined hemisphere is merely a construct, something we’ve made up. That it exists is only due to our imagination. A coined hemisphere is something we’ve given a name to, but it’s almost too much to wrap your head around
I feel that way about the world a lot of the time.
So in this blog I will write about our world, particularly the themes that appear in my memoir, My Heart is a Wilderness. Some of those themes include travel, education, sex and sexuality, the concept of home and belonging, labor and labor rights, mental illness and its challenges, and possibly a wide assortment of other things. When you’re looking at a “coined hemisphere”, it’s hard to limit yourself!
I’m also happy to hear from you! What do you think a “coined hemisphere” means?