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Old 12-24-2015, 08:46 AM   #1
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ISO answers

I just read a post about preparing to cook a gammon joint. Never hearing of this pork product, I did a bit of research and found that it's basically an uncooked ham, cured by injecting it with a salt solution. It is sold uncooked and can be boiled or roasted, or cut into steaks to be grilled, or pan fried. It used to be necessary to soak overnight in fresh water to remove some of the saltiness, just as you would with a dry-cured, smoked ham.

Now here lies my question, and please don't take offense as I am only speculating. In the early 20th century through the middle of the same century, women's legs were often referred to as gams.
does this reference possibly be take from gammon, as they are both descriptors of the leg? And yes, I do know that I'm a somewhat strange guy. But I'm not sexist, really, just insanely inquisitive.

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Old 12-24-2015, 08:52 AM   #2
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Chief, I take offense with your posts all the time. Why should this one be any different?

Seriously, the two words could have a common origin. Interesting thought.

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Old 12-24-2015, 08:59 AM   #3
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Beep Beep, Andy! You are correct! From the Oxford Dictionary definition of gammon: "Late 15th century (denoting the haunch of a pig): from Old Northern French gambon, from gambe 'leg'."

And may I add, standards of beauty have changed over the centuries. It used to be that larger women were more appreciated than the they are now, so comparing their legs to hams would have been a compliment
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Old 12-24-2015, 01:01 PM   #4
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Let's hear it for Rubenesque women! "Applied to a woman who has similar proportions to those in paintings by the Flemish painter Peter Paul Ruben; attractively plump; a woman who is alluring or pretty but without the waif-like body or athletic build presently common."
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Old 12-24-2015, 02:19 PM   #5
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Another version. From this it would appear that they both derive from the same root word:

Gams « The Word Detective

Like most word derivations, pick your poison.
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