The holidays are here! People are shopping, serving others, chopping down young fir trees to place indoors and decorate, spreading cheer, being vocal (while trying to park and/or caroling) and lastly sharing happiness! Holidays are full of fun and cheer, a great time to gather together and celebrate.
But what does the word “holiday” really mean to a painter?
Holiday: a missed spot when using a roller, where the previous color of paint shows through.
What? You’re kidding? Isn’t that like saying “You missed a spot?” Yes, it’s true!
But the origin may not be what you think… “My painter took a holiday (break) and missed a spot.” Nope, that’s not it, either.
The original use of ‘holiday’ in the “missed a spot” sense was back in the 18th century, in reference to crew members painting the decks of a ship or “paying” (sealing seams with tar or pitch) its hull. Paying (from the Middle French “poier,” to smear with pitch) in particular was an arduous, intensely unpleasant task, so even a small missed spot would be, sardonically, considered a “holiday”. (“A holiday is any part of a ship’s bottom, left uncovered in paying it,” Grose, Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, 1785).
Holiday by definition had been adopted into the painting world as a missed spot, at least until touch-ups are done!
We at ESP Painting hope you have an awesome “holiday” (the celebration, days off work, good company, food and drink)! It’s a Festivus miracle! Thanks Mr. Costanza!